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Self-Led Hiking Routes Keep SW Moving in Pandemic

[Posted July 20, 2020]

The latest in a series of Self-Led Hikes created by SWTrails PDX delivers more than just a walk in the woods.

Submitted by SWTrails PDX

With monthly group hikes cancelled by COVID-19, the volunteers at SWTrails PDX have created self-led urban hikes around SW Portland. Seventeen routes are currently posted at SWTrails PDX, with more in the pipeline. Hike #17, the John’s Landing Berry Loop, takes hikers to four blackberry patches, which should be ripe for picking any day now.

SWTrails PDX volunteer Brian Brady has captained the effort to map the SW Trails excursions, which are within walking distance wherever you live in Southwest Portland.

“Why drive two hours to the Columbia Gorge for a glimpse of waterfalls when we have places like Marshall Park, which has a waterfall of its own and is just five minutes away? “ he wonders. (Check out Hike #4.)

Photos above are from a visit to Hike #4 in April. Photo credit: Kellar Autumn Photography

SWTrails PDX provides the directions in an online interactive app for smartphone or with printable maps. Bowing to the realities of life in the time of COVID-19, hikers can go it alone or with a couple of companions on tested routes ranging from just over two to just under eight miles. Distance and elevation change details listed provide information on the degree of difficulty of each hike. Instructions for downloading the digital maps are provided on the website.

Route maps have been downloaded more than 1,000 times since late June. The most downloaded is Hike #1, which begins and ends at Gabriel Park and heads west to cover 5.2 miles through the Maplewood neighborhood. Hike #18, Hamilton Park to Hewitt, is set to publish on July 24th.

There is no word yet when SWTrails PDX group hikes will resume, but Brady has at least another eight self-led hikes that will be posted in coming weeks and (maybe) months at


Have you found a new favorite hike this summer? Tell us about it.


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