Battle Ax Trail Professional Review and Guide
"It’s a long drive on a bumpy road. And parts of the hike up are rather dull. So why hike Battle Ax? Three reasons: one of the greatest views among all the hikes in this whole book, few fellow hikers, and easy access to a fantastic, lake-filled wilderness area.If you drive to the trailhead, you'll knock 1.4 miles off your walk. It isn't too exciting at first, winding up Bagby Trail #544 through thick forest. Halfway across this traverse, you'll enter an impressive rockslide, where if you give a shout, you'll notice that the sound really bounces around."
--Paul Gerald, 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland (Menasha Ridge Press).
Great trail, right out of the city. We saw owls. However, make sure you start on it and not on the twerliger trail which is left of the parking lot. You want to go behind the parking lot to the shelter. The trail starts next to the shelter.
This trail is great. The city bus will drop you just a very short distance from the trailhead and once you leave the parking lot at the bottom you ascend a narrow canyon to Council Crest. Council Crest is a great spot for a lunch and the views of the mountains are the best in Portland. It was a great late winter walk on a sunny day. There was still a bit of mud from the rains but nothing my boots couldn't handle. If you have little kids the trail is steep in spots and doesn't have many places where it runs level but older kids should handle it just fine. We followed the trail to the top and then continued on through to the zoo. When I do this trail again though I will probably opt for the alternate route back down to where I started. The path to the zoo is not well marked, very steep in spots and once you get close to Hwy 26 it is very noisy. I do recommend walking to the base of the hill at the park since there are remnants of the old trolly line that ran up the hill.
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