Directions: This hike is located in Downtown Portland on NW 31st and Upshur, just under the Thurman Street Bridge at Lower Macleay Park.
The trail starts under the Thurman Street Bridge, and is paved for about the first .25 mile. Watch out for nettles along the entire trail, the Mrs. always seems to run into them, and did (for more info on nettles, click here). The first half of the trail, up until Cornell Road, is fairly family friendly. The trail is pretty wide and it follows Balch Creek which is quite pleasant. After crossing over the creek a couple times, you come to the Stone House where the Macleay Trail merges with Wildwood Trail. From this point on you follow Wildwood Trail. We recommend stopping and exploring the Stone House. The bottom has a room with walls covered in graffiti.
You’ll notice a blue diamond painted on a tree across from the Stone House. This is the trail marker for Wildwood Trail, and you’ll continue seeing these all the way to the mansion. Not long after the Stone House the trail starts to switchback. As you climb the switchbacks, the trail gets narrower and becomes less family friendly. The switchbacks continue until you reach Cornell Road. When you get here, it’s worth stopping by the Audubon Society, where we were able to see a Northern Spotted Owl and Red Tailed Hawk.
After crossing Cornell Road you start the second half of the hike. From this point on, there are a lot more switchbacks and hills. If you look through the trees, you’ll see obscured views of Portland’s industrial area.
The trail ends at the parking lot for the Pittock Mansion. Walk downhill to your left to get there. There are a lot of benches and plenty of grassy spaces for picnics and lounging. We stopped here for lunch, and enjoyed the views of Portland.
We took the Upper Macleay Trail on the way back, and it seemed to be flatter with fewer switchbacks. This met up with Wildwood Trail again at Cornell Road.
Distance: 5 miles (moderate)
Elevation: 900 feet (moderate)
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Parking Fee: None