Lents Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"The actual neighborhood of Lents—named after Oliver Perry Lent, a pioneer who ran a 190-acre farm in the area in 1866—is fairly large (nearly 4 square miles), but its downtown core is barely there. With all the boarded-up shopfronts and papered-over windows, it has an almost ghost-town appeal. This is mainly because Lents got the short end of the transit stick back when Portland was trying to figure out where the I-205 freeway should go. (It had been planned for 39th Avenue, but folks in the more powerful and moneyed Laurelhurst neighborhood wouldn’t have it.) By running the freeway along Southeast 95th Avenue, city leaders basically cut Lents in half, leaving it more a traffic hub than anything else. Still, it’s the center of one of the most diverse parts of Portland, with a higher number of Latino, Asian, and Russian immigrants than most other parts of town. Recently it has been named an Urban Renewal Area, which allows the city to use property-tax funds for improvement projects. And the weekly farmers’ market here draws folks from much closer in, thanks to its ethnically diverse makeup and resulting tendency to have things you can’t find at other markets. Things might be looking up for Lents . . . eventually."