Welcome to my blog! I feel very fortunate to have been born and raised in Oregon; but there is still so much I haven’t seen yet! I absolutely love Oregon and exploring different areas. When I…
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.
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.
A mossy haven.
The lake has a muddy bottom and newts and salamanders.
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! 🙂 We discovered a hidden beauty.
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.
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.
A passing runner took our photo. It turned out great! 😉
Vegans only in this bathroom!
No hike would be complete without a silly Hamilton photo opp.
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.
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:
My favorite part was the off-shoot trail that takes you to an old kitchen floor right on the path.
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.
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.
Here is the view looking towards Portland from the St Johns Bridge on the way back:
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.
Starting Point: Cape Lookout Trail head (Near Netarts)
*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.
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!
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.
Early on in this hike you’re rewarded with spectacular views.
The trail ends with this view of endless blue:
There is a bench to enjoy the view. Then you just go back the way you came. 🙂
This urban hike had it all: a beach, a nature preserve, a quirky amusement park, old Portland neighborhoods and views of the city. This was Walk #15 from the Portland Hill Walks book: Sellwood Riverfront to Johnson Creek Loop. From the Sellwood Riverfront Park the walk starts on the beach of the Willamette River with views of the city.
After the beach we walked up through Oaks Amusement Park which opened in 1905; one of the 10 oldest amusement parks in the US. It used to be accessible only by boat and street car. The old carousel was built in 1912.
After the amusement park the walk continues across the street to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge.
We actually got turned around during this portion and ended up going a mile or so off route, but it was nice to get to see more of Oaks Bottom. Once out of the park we back tracked down Milwaukie Ave to continue the walk.
Sellwood Blvd had views of the city and a cute little swing. 🙂 After zig-zagging through the neighborhood we came to Share-it square on 9th and Sherrett. Every corner had something to share including a 24 hour tea station.
The end of the walk swings by the Oaks Pioneer church from 1851. It’s the oldest church of continuous use in Oregon.
By the time we got back to the parking lot it was packed, so I’m glad we got an early start. This walk was 3.75 miles total, but we probably did 4.5 with our “detour.”