On Sunday we continued our thoroughly enjoyable project of discovering our new home area. Since the day was glorious – brilliant blue sky, sunshine, temperature around 70, a slight breeze – it was an easy choice: Forest Park.
First of all, I doubt anyone can get to know Forest Park in a year much less one afternoon – at more than 5,000 acres and 8 miles long it is an enormous park, and all within the city of Portland. Not only is it large, it is very hilly so that walking can be a challenge and a good workout.
Knowing nothing about the park and finding no easy “here’s the best place to enter” information, we simply chose a trailhead at random and headed for it. Our choice took us up, up, into the west hills and into an area of amazing homes, most happily clinging to the hillside. The entrance was a simple people gate – you could walk through it (including with a bicycle) but cars were barred.
Right away we were faced with a steep incline though the trail was clear and well maintained. Grateful for walking sticks we climbed a short way to where the Holman trail crossed the Wildwood trail, and since Holman continued up and Wildwood seemed to level off, we took the easier route.
In a very few steps we were surrounded by seemingly infinite shades of green from light fern green to medium moss to deep fir. We passed people who were walking alone or with dogs, jogging, and running, plus a few on bicycle. (My mind boggles at what it must be like to ride a bike up those hills!) Along the way we found eye-catching flowers and a bronze mushroom that was doing its best to blend in.
They are more than 70 miles of interconnecting trails in Forest Park. We saw maybe a mile and were enchanted. What delights there are to discover next!