Wahclella Falls

This is an easy 2 mile round trip hike. You have to go early though since it’s so popular and has a very small parking lot. (NW nature pass or $5 day pass required) To get here take I-84 east to exit #40- Bonneville Dam. Turn right and follow the road to the marked trail head.

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Beacon Rock

This hike had been on my bucket list for a long time. It’s not too far from Portland, pretty easy and you get the spectacular views. The only drawback is that it’s crowded. To get here, take I-84 east to Cascade locks and cross the Bridge of the Gods ($2 fee each way). Turn left after the bridge and find the trail head on your left after a few miles. There is a $10 day fee, or a Washington Discover Pass. The hike is only a mile climb to the top.

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Soapstone Lake

If you’re looking for a quiet place to reconnect with nature, this is it. It’s an hour and 20 minutes from Portland in the Tillamook State Forest. This hike is 1.5 miles each way and 0.9 miles around the lake- easy.

Directions:

From Portland take Hwy 26 towards the coast / After 60 or so miles turn left on Hwy 53 / Follow the very windy road for 6 miles to turn left on Soapstone Lake Trailhead road. This gravel road takes you to the trailhead in a few minutes. No fees!

The trail was relatively empty by the time we arrived at 10:30; there were only 3 other cars. It was such a relief from hiking in the Columbia River Gorge to have a quiet peaceful visit in the forest.

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A mossy haven.

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The lake has a muddy bottom and newts and salamanders. imageimage

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This hike was such a nice change in pace. I can’t wait to try out another one in this area. There’s nothing like driving by trailheads with no cars! ๐Ÿ™‚ We discovered a hidden beauty.

Mount Tabor

Mount Tabor is the perfect spot to spend an afternoon. We didn’t follow a specific hike, but wandered the trails up to the top. Mount Tabor is located at SE 60th and Salmon. The reservoirs in this park were built between 1894 – 1911.

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Mount Tabor is an extinct volcano. Portland is one of four cities in the US to have this in their city boundaries. (Yikes!) Linda, Hammy and I made our way up the steep hill and were rewarded with views of Portland.

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A passing runner took our photo. It turned out great! ๐Ÿ˜‰imageimage

Vegans only in this bathroom!

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No hike would be complete without a silly Hamilton photo opp.image

St. Johns Streets to Forest Park Trails Loop

This is Walk #5 from Laura Foster’s Portland Hill Walks book. The starting point was N. Lombard and Richmond Ave. I felt the first part of this walk was a little random and there was only one cool thing to see before you cross the St. Johns Bridge into Forest Park. That was an old Adventist church on 8325 Central; built in 1914. I thought it was a cool looking building.

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Walking across the St. Johns Bridge was something I had never done and I would highly recommend it! It was great to have a chance to appreciate the architecture and hone in on the details. The book mentions that it’s pretty noisy crossing the bridge and to bring ear plugs, but I didn’t think it was that bad.

Once you are over the bridge the walk continues into Forest Park. I had never been in this part of the park before and it was so much quieter than the areas closer to Portland; Very tranquil! The bulk of this walk is in the Forest Park. Just a little ways up the trail gives you an amazing view of the St Johns Bridge:

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My favorite part was the off-shoot trail that takes you to an old kitchen floor right on the path.

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You could spend hours and hours walking through Forest Park. It’s easy to take for granted; but it really is peaceful in there. On Springville trail there are these man holes covers for Bell telephone. The book states that Sprinville was probably used as a market road since 1846.

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Before you get to the bridge to head back to the starting point you exit Forest Park through Whitwood Court, a subdivision of the Linnton neighborhood. I really liked this neighborhood. It had cute houses, more views of the river and bridge, and Forest Park as a back yard. Plus, I found this boat on the side of the road.

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Here is the view looking towards Portland from the St Johns Bridge on the way back:

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This was around a 5 mile walk, and took us 3-4 hours. We stopped for iced coffees for our reward at St. John’s coffee roasters on N. Leavitt Ave.

 

Cape Lookout

Starting Point: Cape Lookout Trail head (Near Netarts)

*No fees

*5 mile out-and-back

*Crowded! We got to the trail head at 10:00 am and there was plenty of parking. The hike took us 2 1/2 hours and by the time we returned the parking lot was packed! It was a sunny summer Saturday though. This would be a nice one to do on a sunny winter day.

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There are 3 different ways you can go at the trail head. We took the Cape trail and stayed to the right at the first cross roads. It was very muddy in some parts. The trees were beautiful!

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This was a cool tree. My brother said that native americans shaped the branches when the trees were young to indicate there was a bend in the trail.

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Early on in this hike you’re rewarded with spectacular views.imageimage

The trail ends with this view of endless blue:

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There is a bench to enjoy the view. Then you just go back the way you came. ๐Ÿ™‚

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