If you follow the Oregonian travel section you’ve probably noticed some excellent articles this spring giving a ‘behind the scenes’ look at some of the best walks and hikes in Portland.
We reached out to the reporter, Jamie Hale, to learn more about his experiences in Portland’s parks.
What was your motivation for the series?
I love all the hiking opportunities within Portland proper, so I wanted to create a comprehensive and user-friendly guide that compiled them in one place. Too often when we talk about “Portland hikes” we’re talking about places outside of the city, which is great, but that ignores all the places you can get to without taking a day trip.
What was it like to hike around Portland?
The process of putting this together was very hands – or rather, feet – on. I went out on about a dozen hikes in the span of three weeks, taking photos, notes and learning about the history of each place. I wanted to write individual in-depth posts on each, because so many of our local parks have such fascinating historical backgrounds. I’m the kind of person who likes to be as thorough as possible, but I had to back off a little on this one and not expect myself to know every detail about every trail in the city. Besides, that leaves some hidden gems around town too.
Any especially wonderful or frustrating experiences while writing the articles?
The wonderful thing was spending my work days out on the trail, of course, and learning some bits and pieces about our city’s history in the process. The most frustrating piece was figuring out how to cover Forest Park, which is simply too expansive to write about in one, two or even three different articles. Readers will have to explore, and make their own hikes out there.
Anything else about your urban hiking adventures we should know?
While I highlight these regimented hikes, I always like to encourage people to find their own trails as well. You get such a richer experience out of nature when you make your own personal connection with it. Following directions is fine, but there’s something about wandering that gives feast to the soul.