I recently moved to Portland’s westside, after spending 35 blissful years east of the river. Starting with a houseboat in the extreme edge of “you can’t go any further north,” on the Columbia River, each subsequent move was closer and closer to the opposite corner of Northeast, with my last home located squarely between the vibrant Alberta Arts neighborhood and newly emerging Mississippi area. My walkscore was HIGH and my restaurant options never failed to deliver ever more diversity. Could life get any better than my perfect, desirable 20-Minute Neighborhood?
Ideas for walking in Portland
The move to a westside neighborhood, with its low walkscore and apparent dearth of food options, came with surprises. Walking must be done with more deliberate intent. I’ve never lived where streets are not straight, and grid-like and I had never ventured deep into the trails of Forest Park, so I admit I was intimidated at first. I looked for guidance and found my muse in Marcy Houle, who has written extensively about Forest Park.
Marcy regularly leads hikes, so you don’t have to brave it on your own. And there are so many sources to find a walk, it’s hard to know where to start. Try The Audubon Society, Metro, The Backyard Birdshop, Explore Portland, and The Forest Park Conservancy, just to name a few!
After meeting up with Marcy, I quickly found my second walking muse, Laura Foster, who writes the excellent blog, Portland Walks and Urban Hikes. Who knew!?!!! There she was in person, walking the trails one day with a group. Next thing I knew, I was following Laura on a hike from Chapman up to the Pittock Mansion.
I’ll see you on the trails!