With Sharon sporting her new splint and out of the sling we felt it was time that we get back on the trail and do some hiking. She is prohibited from biking, lifting, and any activity jarring the arm so hiking is one of the few things we can do to stay in shape.
Two places we enjoyed hiking in the city of Portland area were the Marine Drive hike and bike trail right near the RV park and trails found in Forest Park on the west side of town. We also liked roaming the many McMenamins to check out the restoration of the always interesting, eclectic facilities that house them. Of course there is the added benefit of partaking in frosty crafted beverages there. I mentioned McMenamins before but we feel is really neat that they take over what would otherwise be condemned properties and restore them into hotels, pubs and breweries. They have even converted elementary schools and churches into McMenamins. Because of their attention to detail with regard to restoration and complimentary art, we always find upon revisiting something we missed the first time. We would really like to visit each of the 56 they have in Oregon and Washington but alas, I don’t think our livers would survive.
The Marine Park Trail we hiked is a forty mile loop that is paved and a great deal of the trail runs directly along the Columbia River, the river that separates Washington from Oregon. We didn’t do the entire loop of course but the part of trail we did do offered wonderful views of Mount Hood in the eastern skyline. It is visible on clear, cloudless days when” the mountain is out”.. We have been having fun with that Portland expression, “mountain is out”, and use it often during these warm and sunny July days.
Forest Park trail is near the downtown Portland area and is a haven for those who like to hike and bike but can’t get out of town. The park is adjacent to many other Portland Attractions such as the Hoyt Arboretum, the International Rose Garden, the Zoo and other interesting sites.
Parking slots at the trailheads are plentiful and free if you don’t park too close to the Children's Museum of the Zoo.. The main trail is very wide and although you will have some climbs in elevation there aren’t any nasty switchbacks. There are multiple side trails as well where one can hike into the arboretum or the rose garden, both of which we enjoyed.
The Arboretum has a very nice collection of trees and the Rose Garden has many flowers in bloom this time of year. We liked hiking on the redwood trail where they actually have a few nice redwood specimens. The diversity of conifers here is extensive and they are well labeled to offer the opportunity to learn to identify the more common ones.
So if you are in the downtown area of Portland there are numerous attractions and hiking trails right within reach without even having to leave town…