Portland hiking

Urban Hiking

This post will probably mostly appeal to locals.

When everything shut down here in Oregon, 12-ish weeks ago, we knew we still wanted to get outside and get fresh air and exercise. The Governor shut down the Gorge and Mount Hood and the Coast, so no hiking there. For awhile we mostly went for walks in our neighborhood and we still do as much as possible.

With a toddler out of preschool/daycare, we definitely needed some options. I started looking for places that WERE open still. A lot of parks and nature parks are still open near us, but playgrounds are closed. Bathrooms are closed at trails and nature parks.

Obviously, we are as smart as we can be. We only go to places that are open. We go at times when there won’t be as many people. If there are a lot of cars in the parking lot, or we see too many people, we leave and go somewhere else. We bring our masks, although we don’t necessarily wear them unless we see other people. We don’t touch anything (you shouldn’t in nature parks anyways). We are taking as many precautions as we can and still get outside and get exercise and sanity.

In a way, this time has turned out to be good for exploring new area of Portland. In the past we had favorite hikes we’d go on, they were usually out in the Gorge or on Mount Hood, or Milo McIver Park, or Stub Stewart Park, but all these places closed down so I looked for places that were 5-8 miles within our house so we could stay close.

Here are some suggestions we like:

Forest Park

Forest Park never closed during the quaratine. There are a TON of trails and different trailheads and so many places to explore. We never went here during the covid-19 stuff because I knew there would be a LOT of people there. But it is a good place to hike close to town.

Mary S. Young Park

A pretty big park in West Linn with a lot of trails, a dog park area, river access, picnic areas. There are 5 miles of hiking trails in the woods. There are bike trails and bird watching.

Maddax Woods

Another West Linn gem. It’s short but kid friendly. 7 acres of woods and trails, river access. There’s a trail up to the West Linn Library, or a trail to the river. It was about 1.1 miles roundtrip.

Scouter’s Mountain

A great little nature hike in Happy Valley. NO DOGS. There are a few trails that all connect. It’s hilly so you can get a workout but it’s not long so it’s kid friendly. There’s a parking lot and a nice view of Mount Hood. You are in the woods and the trails are all well groomed. It’s very good for families. And we saw deer!

Mount Scott Nature Park

This is another Happy Valley hike. It’s a nice little find at the end of a cul-de-sac in a neighborhood. The trail is short but steep. It’s kid-friendly because of it’s length and there are old cars with trees and plants growing in them hidden in the woods!

Cooks Butte Hike

This was a cute little hike up at the top of a neighborhood hill in Lake Oswego. This was another one where the trailhead was nestled at the end of a neighborhood cul-de-sac. The trails were all connected and had variations in grading so you can get a workout, but kid-friendly enough (no cliffs, no big dangers, not super long). It was a nice trail in the woods. Dogs are ok (on leash). This one is definitely one we would do again and again.

Tualatin Hills Nature Park

This is a great park! It’s very flat, so not a great workout for hiking. Some of it is paved (so ADA and stroller accessible). It is a great park for running and biking, not so much for hiking. There are some trails off the paved areas that you can hike on and lots of off-shoots to explore. You could spend the whole day exploring. It’s great for kids! NO DOGS.

Springbrook Park

This is a nature park in Lake Oswego. Beautifully groomed and maintained and it looks like they are making some new trails. There are lots of trails that are offshoots into neighborhoods, or schools, and a lot of the trails connect. It’s really pretty. Pretty flat. Mostly gravel and dirt, which is nice because when it rains it’s not too muddy. We’ve already done this hike twice! It’s great.

Tualatin Greenway Trail

This is a cute little paved path in downtown Tualatin, right behind the mall area right off I-205. We discovered it recently and it’s perfect for toddlers! It’s wide, paved, there’s information about the Ice Age and dinosaurs along the way and it’s right by the river. It’s super cute!

It’s about 4.5 miles long, I guess. We only did part of it. We will definitely go back and do the rest sometime! And it looks like the river is a GREAT place for kayaking!

Happy hiking!

Back On The Trail

We had such a good time on our Friday date night!! Michael and I definitely need to do more new things like that. It’s so easy to get into a routine, especially when you have a baby, and it’s nice to do something different.

Well, after we got home that night it was time for another first. It was time for Logan to move out of the bassinet. He’s been in the rock n’ play since he was born, next to my side of the bed. It’s been great and so helpful (it vibrates!) and he’s been a great sleeper. But…to be honest, he grew out of it a month ago and I’ve been procrastinating moving him. But it was time. I had to suck it up and just do it.

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So now he’s in the pack n’ play in our room. We’ll do this for a little while and then move him into his crib in the nursery in a few months. I was expecting to not sleep at all that night but honestly he did ok. He thrashed around and thumped in the new bed but eventually fell asleep. He woke up a few times and was able to go back to sleep ok and then woke up at midnight fussy, so I fed him and put him back to sleep and he slept until 7am. I’d call that a success!

Saturday morning we went to my aunt’s house. She asked me to do a photo shoot of her family since the kidsย were all together for a family party (one lives in California, one in Colorado and another has been overseas for a bit). It was so much fun taking photos! And it was great getting to see my cousins.

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After that Michael and I went home and got ready for another date. His mom and stepdad came over to babysit Logan for a few hours so we could go do something. We decided on a hike with our first baby — Bella!

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We haven’t been hiking since the weekend before Logan was born! We did Powell Butte this weekend, just like last time. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a nice hike close to home and since I hadn’t been hiking in awhile it was a good beginner try.

It was a hot afternoon after a gray, humid and cool morning. We set out on the hike and I was feeling pretty good! I think going for long walks in the neighborhood hills with the stroller has helped build up my endurance and stamina after taking a long break.

It was so goodย being outside hiking and it was greatย being with Bella. We were able to give her lots of attention without the baby interrupting us. I knew Logan was having a fun time being spoiled by the grandparents at home! Bella was ECSTATIC to be hiking again. ๐Ÿ™‚

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The trail was really overgrown! Look what we saw:

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It slithered across the trail in front of me. Thankfully Bella didn’t see it! And thankfully it wasn’t anything like the last snake I saw on a hike!

We hiked around the top of the butte and then took the trail down into the woods. It’s a greatย loop.

There were some decent hills on the hike that got my heart rate up, so that was nice. It was also nice to get some exercise outside of the gym.

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We got back to the car after a decent hike and relaxed in the shade a little bit to cool off. Look how happy Bella is!

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She did great on the hike! There were mountain bikers and lots of people out on the trail with their dogs. I think Bella was happy to be out on the trail again.We really need to get back into a regular hiking routine for her (and us).

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Nice stats for the day! Now for the calorie burn:

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I was happy with my number. On the drive home we stopped and got a cold treat:

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We got home and I kind of hit a wall. I was suddenly really exhausted. Michael went out and got us burritos for dinner (veggie for me) and we watched a movie and I tried not to fall asleep on the couch. Seriously, so tired! Probably a combination of a not-so-restful night, hiking in the heat and probably not drinking enough water like I should have.

Anyways, it was a really funย weekend and it was great that we got the opportunity to go out without the baby for a little while. Hopefully soon we can start bringing Logan on hikes!