Portland September 24, 2017
The Magical Portland Trail You’ll Want To Hike Again And Again
If you like to hike, but don’t want to have to navigate the expansive trail system of the much larger Forest Park, this amazingly peaceful park in Southwest is your place to go. Featuring well-maintained trails throughout the entire natural area, the hidden away park is just what you need this fall. Hiking during the rainy season can be hit or miss, but at this park teeming with oaks, cedars, firs, and willows, you stay under a thick canopy for much of the walk (and are treat to fall colors come October), making it a perfect trail for a wet fall day.
The 36-acre park is located at SW 45th Avenue and Woods Street, and features several unpaved hiking trails.
Because the area is an important wildlife habitat, dogs must be on leash at all times and biking is prohibited.
Nearly all the foliage here is native to the area.
A mix of towering native trees loom overhead, and other Northwest favorites like elderberries, Oregon grapes and thimbleberries fill out the understory.
While much of the park was logged nearly 100 years ago, there are some historic trees peppered throughout the park.
And once the trees begin changing colors, this is a wonderfully peaceful place to come and enjoy the spectacular shades of yellow, red, and brown all around.
The park is park of the Fanno Creek Watershed.
The headwaters of two forks of the Woods Creek run through the park, and a lovely boardwalk over the creeks makes the hike all the more memorable.
The park has been a part of the Portland Parks system since 1988 when it first opened.
The land was originally gifted to Multnomah County in 1950 by the Southwest Hills Kiwanis with the stipulation that it be used as a park or playground only.
Friends of Wood Park have worked since 2002 to continually improve the park and its trails so that more people can enjoy the natural area.
The volunteer group has logged thousands of hours planting native trees, shrubs, and bushes, removing invasive species, and creating a trail system complete with bridges and boardwalks.
All the work has paid off to create an amazing natural area with great access and trails for all to enjoy.
Try the Woods Creek Trail to cross several bridges, the Alice Trail for a peaceful walk, or combine several for a large loop around nearly the entire park. With numerous entry points and short trails, you can easily hike much of the park in a little over an hour, though you may want to stay longer in the serene setting.
Next time you are in the area, seek out this small gem hiding in Southwest.
Woods Memorial Natural Area is well worth the trip and you will want to keep going back again and again.
Have you hiked this little known trail in Portland?