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Portland Forest Hikes: Twenty Close-In Wilderness Walks

By James D. Thayer

We're impressed. It's a glove compartment companion dedicated to the proposition that you can have your hike and read it, too.

Willamette Week

Here are twenty wilderness hikes within twenty miles of downtown Portland, Oregon, less than a half hour's ride from the city. Adventurers at all skill levels will be surprised by the remoteness and remarkable beauty of these easy woodland escapes. Just take this pocket-sized companion and slip down a hidden trail to emerge on vistas with eagles soaring overhead. There are shorter walks suitable for kids, like the McCarthy Creek Loop, and rugged routes for the ambitious, like the Fire Lane 12 loop.

Each hike description includes a map, bus access, basic conditions, length, and grade, as well as flora, fauna, geology, and local history. Half the trails explore lesser-known wooded hillsides in Forest Park. Others venture farther north in the Tualatin Mountains into rarely described prime Oregon hiking country.

A devoted advocate for Portland's wilderness areas, James D. Thayer has surveyed most of the publicly accessible walking routes along the Tualatin Mountains from Forest Park to Scappoose and nearly to the Oregon coast — on foot.

Media reviews

"We're impressed. It's a glove compartment companion dedicated to the proposition that you can have your hike and read it, too."

—John Minervini, Willamette Week

"Reveals the less-traveled parts of Forest Park and provides new information on exploring the northern Tualatin Mountains beyond the park boundaries."

—Jeff Baker, Oregonian

About the author

James D. Thayer

James D. Thayer has surveyed over 60 miles of trails, fire lanes, and logging roads and has mapped many trails, tracks, bushwhacks, and bramble-clogged scrambles in the Portland area. He is a senior manager at the Portland Development Commission.

Read more about James D. Thayer

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