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One City's Wilderness: Portland's Forest…

One City's Wilderness: Portland's Forest Park

by Marcy Cottrell Houle

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One of Portland's many blessings is Forest Park, a swath of green on the city's western flank, covering over 5,100 acres and containing close to 80 miles of trails, including the Wildwood Trail, the longest contiguous trail in a city park in the United States.

In the updated and expanded third edition of One City's Wilderness, Marcy Cottrell Houle provides the quintessential guide to this incredible urban park. The book contains detailed descriptions of 29 hikes covering all the trails through the park. Each description includes a full-color map; useful statistics, including GPS coordinates; an elevation chart showing elevation gained and lost over the course of the hike; a precise description of the trail and what you will see; and useful sidebars providing tidbits on the history, flora, fauna, and geology relevant to that section of the park. There is also a foldout color map of the entire park inside the back cover.

The book is chock-o-block full of photographs of the park, including color pictures of the park's most beautiful features, field guide sections on plants and birds, and a few black and white photos depicting the park's history.

Houle also includes informative chapters on the history of the park, its geology, watersheds, vegetation, and wildlife. These later include checklists of the plants, mammals, and birds to be found in the park.

But the book is primarily about the trails because hiking through Forrest Park is how best to experience and enjoy it. As Houle explains:

Forest Park is not overrun with asphalt, swimming pools, picnic areas, or developed sports fields. Instead, since its inception sixty years ago, it has offered a quiet kind of enjoyment, the kind most cherished by lovers of the outdoors. The eighty miles of trails and firelanes . . . and the hundreds of acres of hills and canyons in between, make Forest Park a haven for hikers, bird watchers, nature photographers, runners, bicyclists, equestrians, teachers, and students – in short, anyone needing close-in inspiration and natural refreshment.

Every reader will be inspired to accept Houle's "All Trails Challenge" to undertake all of the 29 hikes described. Conveniently, the book contains a challenge section listing the hikes and including a place to record the date each one is accomplished.

One City's Wilderness is a must-have guide for every hiker living in or visiting Portland.

Also posted on Rose City Reader. ( )
  RoseCityReader | Mar 23, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0875952844, Paperback)

A five-thousand acre wilderness preserve located within city limits, Forest Park contributes to Portland, Oregon's renowned livability by offering close-in recreational opportunities along 60 miles of trails and firelanes. This guide offers an overview of the history, flora, and fauna of the park and provides directions for twenty hikes of varying length and difficulty. A waterproof map of Forest Park and the surrounding area is available separately.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:52 -0400)

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