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: 56

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

Willamette Women Democrats posted an event
Thumbnail

Juvenile Justice in Oregon: Turning Lives Around at Lakewood Community Center (Lower Level)

June 8, 2017 from 4pm to 6pm
Falling into Oregon’s Juvenile Justice System can change the life course of a young person who has been adjudicated for violating the law. If a youth is adjudicated, the Juvenile Justice System focuses on providing a safe and stable environment while holding youth accountable for their behavior; it also encourages them to finish school, learn skills, and live a productive, crime-free life after completing their probation or commitment to the Oregon Youth Authority. This program presents a…See More
Friday
Lea McWhorter posted an event
Thumbnail

Artistic Portland’s First Thursday Gallery Art Walk - June 1, 2017, 4-6 p.m. at Artistic Portland

May 15, 2017 from 6pm to 7pm
Art co-operative Artistic Portland will welcome visitors to stop by for the First Thursday Art Gallery Art Walk on June 1, 2017, 4-6 pm.  Travelers from near and far are invited to meet the artists, view their latest creations and express their own creativity by painting a bowl for charity (2-6 pm).  All supplies will be provided by the art co-op.  After glazing and firing the bowls, they will be available for $10 with all proceeds to nonprofit Sisters of the Road Cafe in Old Town…See More
May 15
KATIE RAMIREZ posted an event

America's Largest Antique & Collectible Show at Portland Expo Center

July 15, 2017 at 9am to July 16, 2017 at 4pm
There’s nothing more enjoyable than strolling around on a beautiful summer day, going treasure hunting at an all vintage show. The range of diversity makes sure there is something for everyone. Some examples include jukeboxes, vintage clothing, 40s kitchenware, estate jewelry, old tools, fishing, pop culture items from the 1970s and 80s, princess phones, die-cast toys, old board games, Sci-Fi books and comics and, well you get the drift.  If fine antiques are your preference, the Expo also…See More
May 9
Amanda posted an event
Thumbnail

Restaurants for Raphael House at various locations in Portland, OR

May 17, 2017 all day
Dine out for a cause on Wednesday, May 17th and support survivors of domestic violence! More than 45 local restaurants have pledged a portion of their day’s proceeds to aid Raphael House of Portland’s life-saving shelter and violence prevention programs. You can make a difference simply by enjoying a meal – or several – at any participating eatery in Portland, Lake Oswego, and Beaverton. Find a full and growing list of involved restaurants online at…See More
May 8
Kate Kilbourne posted an event
Thumbnail

The Portland Ballet presents Balanchine's Who Cares? at Lincoln Performance Hall

May 26, 2017 at 7:30pm to May 27, 2017 at 7:30pm
The Portland Ballet will feature highlights of George Balanchine’s Who Cares? in its Spring Concert May 26-27 at Lincoln Performance Hall. The concert will also commemorate the Ballets Russes with Michel Fokine's Les Sylphides and Tom Gold's Festival Russe. This year marks the 100th anniversary that the legendary ballet troupe performed in Portland. The program also includes a new work by Portland choreographer Lane Hunter.May 26-27, 7:30 p.m.Lincoln Performance Hall1620 SW Park Ave.Portland,…See More
May 5
Erinne Goodell posted an event
Thumbnail

Outdoor Trivia Night at Lagunitas Community ROom

May 17, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm
Join the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership & REI for Outdoor Trivia Night. Doors open at 6, trivia begins at 6:30. Gather your trivia team of up to 6 folks and buff up on your Pacific Northwest nature and outdoor know-how. We'll test your knowledge of PNW natural areas, recreation, and Forces of Nature.We have great raffle items and prizes for the three top-scoring teams from REI. Andy "The Walrus" Lindberg returns as our MC for the evening. Lagunitas beer, cider, and Flying Pie pizza will…See More
May 2
Jen Wroblewski posted an event
Thumbnail

Brain-computer interfaces: Ethical challenges and opportunities at The Lucky Labrador Pub on Hawthorne

May 8, 2017 from 5:45pm to 7:30pm
Each informal Conversation explores a topic in biomedical science and its relationship with ethics, medicine, research and society, connecting people to the biomedical research community. This event will feature Dr. Eran Klein, well-regarded neurologist and philosopher, who will guide us through a discussion about brain-computer interface (BCI) research.  BCI uses connection between our brains and computers, including but not limited to using the brain to control wheelchairs, computers and…See More
May 1
Willamette Women Democrats posted an event
Thumbnail

PLANNED PARETHOOD UNDER ATTACK: How Can We Join the Fight? at Celebrate Conference Center

May 11, 2017 from 4pm to 6pm
 The concerted efforts of Donald Trump and the Republican majority in both the House and the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood has put the health care of millions of American women under great threat.Join us to hear what Planned Parenthood of Oregon is doing to stave off this attack. Mary Nolan, Executive Director of Planned Parentood Advocares of Oregon, will also discuss state legislative priorities and you'll learn what you can do to help to protect and defend Planned Parenthood from this…See More
Apr 28

Badge

Loading…

Powell's Books Picks

© 2017   Created by Lorri E..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service