Trek #45: Kelley Point Park

Kelley Point Park is, hands down, the most ominous trek of my year. Congrats to this trail for freaking me the hell out. Have you ever read the Scary Stories books by Alvin Schwartz? This whole trail could be illustrated for a story about a hiker who encounters terrible things in the woods.

kelley point park, smith and bybee lakes, whitaker ponds loop 004
Where trolls live.

This is not, however, at the fault of the trail itself. Nestled at the westernmost tip of North Portland, I know this place must be quite pretty during the day, instead of being gloomy as hell when I was there right before dawn broke. The park is surrounded by both the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, which during the day probably makes for a gorgeous riverside trek, but in the predawn hours, the fog is rolling heavy off the water and the winter-bare trees look straight out of an episode of GRIMM. It didn’t help that (not at all surprisingly) I was completely alone. After pulling into the lot and being the only car there, the further I walked onto the path, the more I felt I was walking deeper into some creepy Narnia. I will, however, give this trek 5 gold stars for a full emotional experience. All my senses were heightened for sure.

As I’ve stated several times previously, time is a massive factor in how I’ve been able to plan my hikes this year, and this was the only time of day I was able to get out and do this one, despite it being a less than ideal time for a trek. That said, I am absolutely coming back in the summer, when the sun is shining brightly, the trees are lush with leaves, and the paths are populated with people, and compare photos. I bet this trek will have a 100% completely different feel to it.

In the meantime, if you’re shooting a low budget horror film, Kelley Point Park on a winter day just before dawn is exactly where you want to film your scenes.

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Treks Down: 45, Treks to Go: 7

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