My childhood was spent in Southwest Portland, attending Bridlemile Elementary School and Wilson High School. During some of those years, I walked the southwest hills delivering the evening newspaper, The Oregon Journal. This loop covers some familiar territory, and also a good stretch of new walking trails that have been added more recently.
Today I started near the South Park Blocks in downtown Portland. I walked south through the PSU campus, then followed main streets to Terwilliger Boulevard and Sam Jackson Park Road. From here I entered the Marquam Nature Park and followed the Marquam Trail to the top of Council Crest. I continued along the Marquam/4T Trail, along city streets and then through the woods to Highway 26 and the Oregon Zoo. From there I followed the Wildwood Trail through a section of Hoyt Arboretum and Washington Park, dropping down to the Japanese Garden. I walked along the access road to the Rose Test Garden, down along the Washington Park Reservoirs, to the Vista Bridge. I crossed to the high side of the Vista Bridge and then walked down Market Street Drive back into the city.
The total distance is about 8.5 miles and takes nearly 3 hours, walking at three miles per hour. All of the trails allow dogs, so today I walked with my Shetland Sheep Dog, "Smokey". He was very well behaved and made friends with at least a dozen other dogs that were also out for a walk.