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Hiking the Wildwood Trail

Washington Park and Forest Park in Portland, OR.

For Portland-based hikers, the Columbia Gorge, Coast Range, or Cascade mountains are great destinations. But for those of us with less time on our hands, there are some great hikes hiding within Portland's city limits. One of my favorite places to hike is the Wildwood Trail, a 30-mile long trail that winds through Forest Park and Washington Park.

I especially enjoy hiking the loop of the Wildwood Trail that ambles through Washington Park. Despite being just ten minutes from downtown Portland, the trail curls along deeply wooded hillsides lush with ferns and over tiny trickling streams.

Start at the Hoyt Arboretum, walk up to the top of the hill, and then downhill into the forest. Pass by the archery range, and then curve to the left along the hillside. Wend your way through the woods, pausing to glance down at the koi ponds at the Japanese Garden. Continue on to the Arboretum's Winter Garden, and then head uphill through the grove of magnolia trees (spectacular in early March).

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