Lower Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion - Forest Park

Date: August 20, 2009
Distance: 4.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 850 ft
Time: 1:55 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Weather: Warm and sunny, cooling off as it got later
Maps: I highly recommend The Forest Park Map Set for the best map of this area. 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: Outlined in red on the map above.

  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.
  4. Turn right on Upper Macleay Trail
  5. Turn right at Wildwood Trail
  6. After some serious uphill the trail emerges in the parking lot of Pittock Mansion.
  7. Stop and smell the roses and explore the mansion grounds, then return as you came on the Wildwood.
  8. Follow wildwood all the way down to the stone house.
  9. At the stone house, return to the starting point on the Lower Macleay Trail.
This hike worked out nicely after work. It's close in and took just under 2 hours. I absolutely love how easy it is to get out into nature without ever leaving Portland!

I'd done nearly the same route a month ago and finished a half hour faster this time. The uphill felt easier than I'd remembered. Maybe I'm getting a bit more fit. Or maybe I was just working through some airplane-induced restless energy.

This time, I did the little loop as up on Upper Macleay and down on Wildwood. Last time, I had reversed it. I think I like this way better because the steeper sections were uphill rather than downhill and that's friendlier on the knees.
Balch Creek along with Lower Macleay Trail

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. The uphill sections are steep. This is not as easy as some other Forest Park hikes! This is a perfect route for a close-in hike that gives a real workout. I saw a lot of trail runners going uphill. They always impress me.
Stone house

The grounds at Pittock Mansion are fun to walk around. I 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
Pittock Mansion is kept up considerably better than the other stone house.

This rose smells amazing

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
Portland Hikers
60 Hikes within 60 Miles
Portland Hikes: The Best Day-Hikes Within 100 Miles of Portland
Afoot & Afield Portland/Vancouver
Best Easy Day Hikes Portland, Oregon
Trail Running Oregon: Northwest and Central Oregon's Classic Trail Runs

This hike was part of Hike-A-Thon 2009, a fundraiser for Washington Trails Association. All my hike-a-thon posts are here. My fundraising page is here.

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

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