Dirt and paved trails that travel next to bubbling Balch Creek through a fantastic forest setting in Macleay Park and Forest Park. City and mountain views. Bridge crossings. This forest escape begins at Lower Macleay Park, located in Northwest Portland, and winds its way up Balch Creek Canyon for almost a mile to Upper Macleay Park through a second-growth forest of Douglas fir, western red cedar, and big-leaf maple. The first half of the route you’ll pass by big rock pools that are haven to wild trout and wild raspberries, maidenhair fern, and vine maple. Brightly colored wildflowers line the trail with their unique beauty. At Upper Macleay Park you’ll cross Cornell Road and then continue your uphill odyssey through a fern-filled forest to the park-like grounds of the historic Pittock Mansion estate. Oregonian editor Henry L. Pittock built this enormous house in 1914. From this stately estate you can take a breather and gaze at Portland’s downtown skyline and majestic Mount Hood before retracing your route.
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