I was drawn to hiking Forest Park’s Maple Trail in autumn at the suggestion of my friend Adam who wrote an article about about this trail several years ago. Maple trees are a staple of my New England upbringing, and not as much in abundance out here in Portland, so I was excited to see the full splendor of turning leaves all along a single trail.
However, I encountered two snafus on my hike: 1) The trail was closed off just a little over a mile in due to a downed bridge, and 2) I either came to the trail too early or too late in autumn, as most of the trail was lush green and most of the colorful, turned leaves were in my path on the ground, long fallen from their branches. However, this trail is very beautiful and because it starts off the beaten path, very serene.
I did end up taking a side trail at Fire Lane 4, which led me up to a viewpoint of the Willamette River, a partial view of downtown Portland, eastern, industrial Portland, Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. I was also taken up past powerlines and electrical towers which emitted an eerie buzzing sound that I did my best to ignore as I passed underneath them. It was on this side trail that I caught the best glimpses of autumn leaves.
I plan to return next autumn to the Maple Trail, in hopes that by then the downed bridge will be repaired and I can hike the full loop, enjoying turned maple leaves in all their splendor for miles at a stretch.
Treks Down: 32, Treks to Go: 20