Sometimes it is not easy to be a pedestrian in southwest Portland. Streets can be steep, narrow, winding, and without sidewalks – no problem for cars but treacherous for walkers trying to share the road. Thankfully there are alternatives.
The non-profit volunteer group SW Trails advocates for policies to ensure that public rights-of-way stay open and are well-maintained. SW Trails volunteers hold regular work parties to pull ivy, gravel muddy patches, and build or repair stairs. And they lead monthly hikes that are great opportunities to explore the history and natural beauty of this area. See a map of southwest Portland’s urban trail network here.
Last week I hiked a portion of SW Trail 3, from SW Corbett Avenue up the steep hillside to SW Terwilliger Parkway. Entrances to southwest Portland trails can be well hidden, so the small brown signs with arrows are helpful. I thought this was a private driveway until I saw the sign (see just below the green street sign). Also note the I-5 freeway high above:
A carpet of light seemed to be rolled out between the two vehicles:
It only took a minute of climbing to be above the rooftops:
A couple minutes later I looked back under I-5 for a view of the city:
Pots of plants were scattered around, ready for restoring vegetation after recent bridge repair projects:
At the top of the stairs the sun was shining through the Vermont Street Bridge that supports Barbur Boulevard:
The trail continued up the hillside and into the woods. The brown signs confirmed that I was still on SW Trail 3:
Spring green leaves:
Several kinds of wildflowers were blooming:
A few minutes later the trail met Terwilliger Parkway:
Membership in SW Trails is only $10 a year – a great way to help support southwest Portland’s beautiful nature trails. They also welcome volunteers. From the SW Trails website: SW Trails is a community group whose purpose is to promote wellness and to support walking and biking in southwest Portland, Oregon, USA and the surrounding area.