PortlandNeighborhood.com

Welcome to YOUR Portland Neighborhood Community

I tend to be one of those people who discover things after everyone else. Sometimes it's because I have this obstinate streak that doesn't want to follow the herd (I stubbornly resisted letting go of my vinyl until my last turntable literally coasted to a stop and never worked again, thus thrusting me into the digital age, and YES I realize vinyl is popular again, THANKS), but other times it's just because I either don't pay adequate attention or I feel I don't have time to bother learning about something new that I might appreciate. My wife is STILL after me to read the Dark Tower series (but that may be because she hasn't quite yet forgiven me for dragging her to Eyes Wide Shut and seeks to get even).

Last Sunday I wanted a good hike. I live in Milwaukie just a few feet beyond the boundary of the Portland city limit. It's a 30-minute drive to Forest Park, and I just didn't want to spend that much time in the car that afternoon. I had almost resigned myself to a neighborhood walk (which is not a bad thing!) when suddenly a speck of rust shifted and fell off a disused cognitive conduit, setting free a wisp of latent memory. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge! Yeah, that place I've passed on the way to and from work countless times over the last fourteen years, the stretch of undeveloped land with both paved paths and rough trails, access to which is available not only from Southeast Milwaukie Avenue but also from The Springwater, that patch of not-urbia that, somehow, I never stopped to investigate!

I agree, silly of me, particularly since quite a few people over the years have mentioned Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to me in glowing terms. So, since it was a rainy and cold afternoon, I donned my bibs and thicky shirt, water-proof hiking boots, my oilskin coat and wide-brimmed hat, and set out. I love hikes in the rain. Makes me feel rugged and all. Unfortunately, most of the time (including this day) my donning of the heavy rain paraphernalia serves as sort of a reverse rain dance and guarantees I'll be making my own gravy by the end. At least this time I didn't fall off the trail or drop the camera.

Since I was driving this time, I chose to park at the Milwaukie entrance. There were quite a few other automobiles there, yet I met only three human souls and one dog on the trails during my walk. Otherwise it felt as if I had the whole place to myself.

It has paved trails if you like a wide swath to share with bicycles and horses. Family-friendly for those with shorties and/or strollers too.

It also has winding, narrow root-and-rock-strewn trails for a more rustic experience. I spent most of my hike on one of these trails.

I was striding along, enjoying the quiet hiss of rain and the call of birds, when suddenly this edifice just appeared, looming overhead. It was like discovering an ancient ruin in a jungle.

This is the famous Portland Memorial Mausoleum, and I don't care if it has charming murals of our feathery/furry woodland friends painted on it, this is a damned spooky thing to find lurking in the mist hard beside a nature trail. Eerie. I love it. I'm going to see the inside of this place before the year is out, I swear I am.

This refuge used to be an illegal dump site. A lot of people have put a lot of time and effort to change that, and that effort is ongoing. You should go and see for yourselves. I have it in mind to visit at least once every season.

Views: 46

Tags: Bottom, Mausoleum, Memorial, Oaks, Portland, Refuge, Wildlife

Comment

You need to be a member of PortlandNeighborhood.com to add comments!

Join PortlandNeighborhood.com

Comment by Rob Creighton Garrison on March 4, 2012 at 11:57am

Thanks, Teri.  This site has a good overview of the trails through the refuge.  The paved path is wide enough to accommodate all modes of travel.   There is also a .pdf map of it here (third link down).  Hope you enjoy!

Comment by teri phillips on March 4, 2012 at 11:28am

Thanks to Rob and Angela for this gorgeous scenic. Being a nature lover and a person using a mobility scooter due to childhood polio and now unable to walk more than a a few yards, I use a three wheeled scooter to get out and enjoy natures many wonders. Such activity does wonders for my mental well being as well as pocket book, costing only of bus fare and snacks...it doesn't get any better than that!  I'm under the impression here that the trail is accessible by a motorized (or not) mobity devices... any pointers on the lay out of the trail? I'm about to look up bus/max routes and plan a day to take in this natural wonderland of plants and wildlife.... great post!  

Comment by Rob Creighton Garrison on March 3, 2012 at 4:56pm

Thanks, Angela.  Took a friend there today and she loved it too.

Comment by Angela Higgins on March 3, 2012 at 4:01pm

I love this area for biking especially.  One of my favorite birds is the Blue Heron and you often see them necking around in here.  These are so great photos, too, Rob- thanks for sharing them! 

Latest Activity

Profile IconSuchitra Chandran, Tedde McMillen, Irene Walker Gilbert and 2 more joined PortlandNeighborhood.com
Wednesday
Michael McDonald replied to john doney's discussion The skinny on neighborhood differences?
"Hello John and all, Well you took the words out of our mouths!  We are also likely moving to Portland with the same questions in our minds. Did you find answers?  I don't see any responses here but perhaps you found them elsewhere and…"
Tuesday
Ross and Leah Seligman's discussion was featured
Tuesday
Ross and Leah Seligman posted a discussion
Tuesday
Profile IconLuke Yoshida, Tadesse Eriso, Sheri O'Brien and 31 more joined PortlandNeighborhood.com
Tuesday
Brewvana -Portland Brewery Tours posted an event
Thumbnail

Poses to Pints - Yoga & Beer! at Baerlic Brewing

November 9, 2014 from 11am to 4pm
BREWVANA is partnering with yoga practitioner Jill Knouse, Baerlic Brewing, Ex Novo Brewing and Ecliptic Brewing to bring you a holistic beer experience! Indulge yourself in an hour vinyasa class with Jill Knouse to live music by two of the members of Toque Libre among the brewery tanks at Baerlic Brewing. Following yoga, you'll move straight to a light lunch and your first beer tasting at Baerlic. Then hop on the bus and go to two additional tastings at a couple more of Portland's newest…See More
Monday
Naomi Smith posted a blog post

Zombies, Face Paint and Body painting - Halloween- Portland Oregon

It's getting to be that time of year where the streets will soon be filled with Zombies, Monsters, Pirates, Princesses and all kinds of outrageous costumes. Halloween is our favorite time of year at Time Honored Designs! This year is extra special because we will have 2…See More
Oct 18
Chris Crabb posted an event
Thumbnail

10th annual da Vinci Arts FAir at da Vinci Arts Middle School

December 6, 2014 at 10am to December 7, 2014 at 4pm
Who says going to school on the weekend isn't fun? On December 6 and 7, da Vinci Arts Middle School will open its doors for the 10th annual da Vinci Arts Fair, featuring boutique arts and crafts by more than 70 juried local artists. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday. The event takes place at da Vinci Arts Middle School, 2508 NE Everett St. Admission is free.One of the more popular holiday fairs in Portland, the da Vinci Arts Fair offers the ideal shopping venue for…See More
Oct 17

Badge

Loading…

Powell's Books Picks

The Bone Clocks

by David Mitchell

Being Mortal

by Atul Gawande

Wolf in White Van

by John Darnielle

Not That Kind of Girl

by Lena Dunham

© 2014   Created by Lorri E..

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service