We’re nearing the end of summer and I haven’t yet done an overnight hiking trip. That will be remedied soon, as my friend Ed and I are planning for something next weekend. I met Ed downtown on the evening of Tuesday September 4th to pore* over maps and scheme.
And there’s no better way** to prepare for a backpacking trip than go for a little urban hike! I wanted to make sure I was ready, so that morning I laced on my hiking boots, loaded my day pack, and grabbed the hiking poles. The destination: the West Hills.
I’ve stated this before, but I’ll say it again: I’m blessed to live in a city like Portland with so many hiking opportunities in town. The West Hills provide the most options, including the Wildwood Trail, a full thirty miles in length, all within the city limits! Best of all, I can use public transit to and from the trailheads.
The hike I planned is basically my “classic”, starting in Macleay Park off of NW Thurman St. The trail here winds up along the Balch Creek Canyon, then meets the Wildwood Trail near the Audubon Society property. (This is where I typically make a pit stop for the restroom and gift shop.)
The Wildwood Trail climbs up further into the hills until it reaches the Pittock Mansion property, nearly 1000 feet in elevation, with one of the best views of the city. I broke for lunch here. There were many folks enjoying the mansion and the view. In fact, I had seen quite a bit of people on the trail, more than I thought I’d see on a Tuesday afternoon.
I chose to continue further north on the Wildwood, which was definitely more quiet. Well, there was the hum of Burnside St below, a main thoroughfare I’d have to cross at a dangerous crossing. After that I was in Hoyt Arboretum, enjoying the stately trees, especially the redwoods. I wrapped up the hike on the other side of the arboretum at the Washington Park MAX station, where I took the light rail back into downtown to meet Ed.
It was a good day. The weather was nice and sunny, maybe a slight bit too warm at about 80F/27C. I’m glad I did this hike, because I realize I need to tweak some things, namely, some proper and comfy insoles for my hiking boots. Now I’m looking forward to some backpacking! And a reminder to self: Do more urban hiking!
*If I spilled my beer, I’d be pouring over the map.
**Well, I guess a backpacking trip is the best way to get ready for a backpacking trip. 😉
Good to see your intrest in backing is still there. Biking and hiking are my two favorite activities. Gotten into ultra light and llight backpacking last so many years and at my age it allows me to keep going.