Downtown Portland is just a five minute drive from our home. So is this lush forest . . .
Tryon Creek State Park is a sanctuary in southwest Portland with 14 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails. We pass the park on a daily basis, so we often have the good fortune to see wildlife while running errands. The most recent sighting was a doe and two fawns jumping out of the thicket. There were echos of squeals in the car when Bambi 1 and Bambi 2 ambled across the road.
Portland boasts the largest and smallest U.S. park in city limits. The green hills bordering the city center is Forest Park, which stretches for 8 miles along the Willamette River. Wildwood Trail, the longest hiking trail in urban boundaries, is 30 miles long and can be accessed just minutes from downtown Portland.
Another trail not far from Portland's urban center is Marquam Trail. This summer, we hiked Marquam Trail to Council Crest, which is the highest point in Portland. Locals also know it as the popular make out spot at night. But I, ahem, wouldn't know anything about this.
Our highlight was seeing two egrets at this marshy pond. If you look closely, a white one is perched on a leaning tree and the other one is flying.
I love that Portland offers its dwellers so many places to retreat from the mad dash of city living. It's on these hikes and strolls through forested lands that many local creatives find perspective and inspiration. Inspired by Forest Park, Colin Meloy of Decemberists and artist Carson Ellis collaborated on a children's adventure book called Wildwood. It was my nine year old's favorite summer read.