Old Town and Chinatown Professional Guide
Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook
"This is the historic core of Portland, once upon a time a rough-and-tumble waterfront where sailors and loggers went carousing in the muddy streets. (Some claim it’s the source of the term “Skid Row,” although Seattle also claims that dubious honor—regardless, the expression refers to the path along which cut logs were ushered toward the river to be shipped.) In those days, before the harbor wall was built to help contain the waters of the Willamette River, this area flooded regularly several times a season. (This was also before an efficient sewer system had been implemented, so you can imagine.) Old Town is also home to the legendary Shanghai tunnels, where—rumor has it, though historians dispute it—drunken sailors would be dropped into tunnels below certain downtown bars, then dragged aboard ships and taken on as indentured workers. (Whether this really happened here or not, it’s a good story, and you can still tour the Shanghai tunnels below town today.)"