Lower Macleay to Pittock Mansion - Forest Park

Date: July 23, 2009
Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 850 ft
Time: 2:15 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Weather: Warm and sunny, was getting cool by the time we got back to the car (8pm)
Maps: I highly recommend The Forest Park Map Set for the best map of this area. Bring the whole set any time you set foot in Forest park. This hike is a variation on Map 1 of that collection. The Friends of Forest Park Area Map is available online, it's not the best, but a start. Also, I took this photo of the sign at the trail head.

My Route:

  1. From the parking area, walk under the Thurman St Bridge onto Lower Macleay Trail.
  2. Follow the trail just under a mile, to the stone house where it intersects the Wildwood Trail. Continue strait on the Wildwood.
  3. Follow the Wildwood across Cornell Road and through all junctions with other trails - watch the signs - sometimes you must turn in order to stay on the Wildwood trail.
  4. After some serious uphill the trail emerges in the parking lot of Pittock Mansion.
  5. Stop and smell the roses and explore the mansion grounds, then return as you came on the Wildwood.
  6. Turn left on the Upper Macleay Trail
  7. Turn left again on the Wildwood Trail just before re-crossing Cornell Road.
  8. Continue on the Wildwood down to the stone house.
  9. At the stone house, return to the starting point on the Lower Macleay Trail.
Notes:
This hike worked out nicely after work. It's close in and took just over 2 hours. We were back to the car around 8pm, just as it was starting to get chilly outside. I absolutely love how easy it is to get out into nature without ever leaving Portland!

The first part of the hike, along Lower Macleay trail goes parallel to Balch Creek which is quite pretty. This section of the hike is easy and would make be a pleasant short easy walk on it's own and the stone house makes a satisfying destination. I intend to return to the stone house sometime with my camera.

The grounds at Pittock Mansion are fun to walk around. "They" say you can see 4 mountains from here. We could only spot St. Helens and Hood. Also, there is a nice view of the city. We wandered around the grounds and admired all the flowers and gardens, even now, many roses are blooming. The mansion grounds have restrooms, water and picnic areas. I would love to have a picnic here sometime.

The uphill sections on Wildwood were steeper and more difficult than I'd expected, its not as easy as some other Forest Park hikes! This is a perfect route for a close-in hike that gives a real workout. We saw a lot of trail runners going uphill. They always impress me.

I did this hike in my Chacos, which is something I normally don't do. The trail is hard-packed enough that I didn't get too many rocks or twigs in the sandals, so that was good. I do have sore spots now on the bottoms of both my feet. No more hiking in sandals for me.
Trail Head:

View PDX Day Hiker in a larger map

Water and restrooms at the trail head.
Related trip reports: Lower Macleay hikes, Pittock Mansion hikes, Forest Park hikes
Other resources:
Pittock Mansion
Forest Park Conservancy
Guidebooks:
60 Hikes within 60 Miles Hike #27
Portland Hikes: The Best Day-Hikes Within 100 Miles of Portland Hike #7
Afoot & Afield Portland/Vancouver Trip #19
Best Easy Day Hikes Portland, Oregon Hike #2
Trail Running Oregon: Northwest and Central Oregon's Classic Trail Runs Run #1

Have you been on this or a nearby trail? Please share your experience.

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