#8 in the Northwest Book, February 20, 2010; Easy – 2.8 miles loop, 100 feet elevation gain.
This hike only exists because of serendipity. We had an errand to run on the southern end of Portland, so we checked the book for something doable, and had Margaret’s parents meet us there. I love it when a plan comes together. Along this time were Becky, Margaret, Ben, Will, Lucy (freeloading in the Kelty as usual), Chuck, Phoebe, and Digby.
The book has this hike starting at the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge sign, but since it’s a loop we opted to meet at Sellwood Park, so our trail started with a steep downhill switchback of about a hundred feet. We proceeded north-eastward around the lake from here, through swampy and slightly muddy areas, and passed under the giant murals of the Portland Memorial Funeral Home. The trail continues all the way around the lake, and joins the paved bike path that parallels a set of railroad tracks, which apparently were moved to make room for the bike path. Portland has priorities. Dodging oncoming bicyclists filled the adventure slot for this expedition, with second place going to “convincing the kids not to go to the amusement park.”
We took an “exit” off the bike path, passed under the railroad tracks (to the gape-mouthed awe of the 3-year-old), and rejoined the dirt trail at the base of the Sellwood Park hill. A quick hill climb and a short drive to the Buffalo Gap for dinner rounded out the day.
Notes: Open year-round. Great for dogs and kids alike. Good for birdwatching.