Many stretches of the city’s 40-Mile Loop parallel roads and highways, but the mile-long segment of the Springwater Corridor Trail that knifes through Oaks Bottom is so wild that it will transport you (mentally, at least) far outside the city’s confines. What with the Willamette River flowing on one side and a 140-acre wetland on the other, there’s plenty here to turn your head. It’s hard to imagine, as you run or roll past the wildlife refuge’s canopies and marshlands, that freight trains used to chug along this rail spur. This trail is also ultraflat—making it a prime choice for both family outings and a variety of activities including cycling, walking, running, inline skating.
ROUTE: For easy access, hop on at the Sellwood Riverfront Park trailhead and travel north on the gloriously smooth asphalt. See if you can spot the park’s feathered denizens—blue herons, bald eagles—winging overhead to Ross Island, a favorite rookery. On their way back, those on foot can follow the signs into Oaks Bottom to hook up with 2 miles of additional trails around the marsh and up the ridge to Sellwood Park.
DIRECTIONS: If you’re driving, park at the Sellwood Riverfront Park trailhead at SE Spokane St & Oaks Park Way, and you’re there. Or traveling from the north along the 40-Mile Loop, you’ll hit the Springwater Corridor Trail about 3 miles south of downtown’s Eastbank Esplanade.