Just a Little Wild
You don't have to suffer though the 2650 miles of the PCT to get a little wild around here. The 30 mile Wildwood trail, much of it in the heart of the city, defines the urban outdoor experience. Forest Park is the largest contiguous public park in a major city in the lower 48. The Wildwood weaves through this corridor of multi-use with grace and curiosity. From the trailhead at the Vietnam Veterans war memorial to the fire roads leading to the northern edge, urban adventure is always at hand. Highlights like the Pittock Mansion, Audubon Center and Stone House along with a number of road and power line crossings remind hikers they're still in town. Then there are the long stretches with nothing but the sound of birds and the wind through the trees. Going in the Spring finds the flowering trees and trillium in full bloom. Winter gets muddy and desolate, but the lack of crowds generates a unlikely solitude so close to hundreds of coffee shops and brewpubs. Summer and Fall are splendid, but less serene. The coyote in the photo was taken on the WIldwood not far from the trailhead by the Zoo. Elk, raccoon, deer, bear and a variety of small varmints populate the landscape. When you come to Portland, get out... Outside that is. It's a part of the vibe not to be overlooked.
By Jay Rymeski, AFAR Local Expert
Mudskating Lessons in Portland's Forest Park
Winter in Portland can be a little oppressive for those that aren't expert hibernators. The great news is that a little mud NEVER hurt anyone! Nor will a little rain. In fact, we found that rain + mud = smiles on a recent trip to "run" on Wildwood Trail. Forest Park has miles upon miles to explore and is nestled right into Portland's proper West Side. A hike/run/bike/Mudskate of any length is sure to be an adventure. (In the summer, of course, trails are dry. In the winter, just use caution as you slip and play in the woods!) We suggest parking at the MacLeay Gate off of Cornell Road in northwest and accessing the park from there. For detailed trail maps and to plan your Mudskate, check out the link below!