There is a little trail in my neighborhood that I use as a shortcut when walking home from the bus stop after work. I am fortunate to have this beautiful path to enjoy on the way home, and it is especially nice this time of the year.The path from one end to the other is only a block long. This is what you see half-way through.Someone mows the grass, but I don’t know who. And a few years ago some fruit trees appeared. You can see apples at the right.Green apples,red apples,pears,and plums,look ready to eat. Someone is keeping a few bees nearby to help produce fruit.Looking to the Southwest, there are blackberries on the left.The blackberries will be ripening for a while yet.The birds love the blackberries, and they also eat the berries of the mountain ash trees:This little trail was improved by SW Trails PDX, a local non-profit that builds and maintains urban trails, organizes volunteer work parties, and promotes walking and bicycling in Southwest Portland. SW Trails PDX publishes a map, and posts signs showing the different routes.Wear and tear happens, and the group uses its own funds to repair or replace signs, and to gravel muddy places and build safe stairs where needed. I love walking on these trails (see my prior blog posts about Stephens Creek Natural Area and the 4T Trail) so I purchased a membership this Spring. And for the foggy evenings this Fall, I even bought a SW Trails safety vest!Southwest Portland’s trails provide access to the area’s natural beauty, interesting opportunities for improving fitness, and in an area with few sidewalks, safe routes for pedestrians. I recommend taking these trails whenever possible. If you see one of these,try it. Enjoy your journey.

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Photo credit: Jack Rossing for the picture of me with my new vest. Thank you, Jack. And many thanks to Don Baack and the SW Trails PDX volunteers, who help make this amazing place what it is.


8 responses to “Shortcut

  1. Dear Lynn, What is the very red plant/tree in the picture 12 pictures down?


  2. Hello Gene – I believe that is a mountain ash. According to wikipedia, the berries are quite edible, but very bitter. If you try tasting one, let me know! Lynn

  3. Lynn, thanks for the post showing the beauty of SW Portland. Commissioner Dan Saltzman and several other trails volunteers built this trail on a very wet winter day. The adjacent neighbors have done most of the maintenance.
    Don Baack

    • Don, thank you for your tireless efforts on the Southwest Portland trail system. And thank you for volunteering to work on this great neighborhood trail, Portland City Commissioner Saltzman!

    • I have been walking SW a lot for many years. I happily participated when there used to be gravel and buckets at trail ends. Right now there are a lot of segments that could use some more gravel. What needs to happen to resurrect the bucket brigade?

      Greg Boyce

      • Hello Greg – What good timing, because I happened to see Don Baack this evening at the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association meeting, and showed him your comment and question. He asked me to give you his email address and for you to contact him: As you may know, Don leads the Portland Trails group (this is their website: and has a group of volunteers who work tirelessly to keep these trails passable and safe. Thank you for writing. Lynn

  4. I love this post! I’m a big lover of hidden trails and neighborhood spots. Beautiful pictures too 🙂

  5. Sometimes the things we see everyday are really amazing when I stop and think about them. Thank you for your comment here – Lynn

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