Our mission is to share the wonders of the natural world by publishing books from experts in the fields of gardening, horticulture, and natural history. Grow with us.

Portland Hill Walks: Twenty Explorations in Parks and Neighborhoods

By Laura O. Foster

Foster makes each entry come alive with historical background and keenly drawn observations.


Portland Hill Walks is no ordinary guidebook. No restaurant ratings, no rehashed explanations of how the city got its name. Instead, in twenty meandering, view-studded strolls from forested canyons to cityscape peaks, this lively travelogue answers questions you may never have thought to ask, such as: What street used to be a row of floating homes? What eastside peak, with its "healthful air," was home to tuberculosis sanatoriums? What happened to the lake in Guilds Lake? What Portlander modeled swimwear in the U.S. Senate? Explore the city's streets, stairs, trails, and hidden passageways to discover the stories and spirit of a town rated among the country's most livable places.

Media reviews

"Anyone who loves Portland should own this book."

—Terry Richard, Oregonian

"[This] is an excellent guidebook celebrating Portland's landscapes and neighborhoods. ... Foster offers anecdotes on some of the more colorful residents of Portland's past, setting Portland Hill Walks apart from ordinary guidebooks."

—Beverly Close, Oregonian

"With Portland Hill Walks, you'll take 20 meandering, view-studded strolls from the city's forested canyons to its cityscape peaks. ... This book is a great place to start if you are looking for a new walking location or are adding walking to your fitness regime."

Walk About Magazine

"Its the little nuggets of history and mystery ... Foster includes in her description of each route that transform this book from mere collection of local maps to a guidebook that leads readers and walkers."


"Pick up a copy of Portland Hill Hikes, lace up some hiking shoes and leave the gas guzzler in the garage ... Takes explorers into 20 city neighborhoods [and] includes lots of city history, while pointing out fun ways to get to know your backyard."


"Foster makes each entry come alive with historical background and keenly drawn observations."

—Alice Joyce, Booklist

"Laura Foster provides a real familiarity with the neighborhoods she describes, which only a veteran Portland walker could produce."

—Andrew Weber, Asian Reporter

"You'll see and appreciate all sorts of things you didn't know were there if you take any one of Foster's guided tours ... A treasure of information, one of the best guidebooks in many years."

—Dan Hays, Salem Statesman Journal

About the author

Laura O. Foster

As a self-professed forensic pedestrian who honed her craft in Portland, Laura O. Foster writes about Oregon's urban centers, small towns, and natural areas. With wit and insight, she tells the stories — geologic, architectural, botanical, and arcane — of this topographically diverse and beautiful state.

Read more about Laura O. Foster

View large jacket image

This book is no longer available

Unfortunately, we don't have any copies of this book for sale.