Pittock Mansion Hike
From Portland Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Lower Macleay Park Trailhead
- End point: Pittock Mansion
- Trail Log: Trail Log
- Hike Type: Out and back with a small loop
- Distance: 5 miles round trip
- Elevation gain: 900 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Seasons: All
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Backpackable: No
- Crowded: Yes on weekends and fair weather afternoons
This easily accessible in-town hike in Macleay Park features a charming creek, lush forest, and a victorian-era mansion with an expansive view of downtown Portland and Mount Hood.
Begin at the Lower Macleay Park Trailhead, and walk under the Thurman Street Bridge towards a red metal sculpture where the Lower Macleay Trail begins. As you approach the trailhead, notice on your left a very strange looking staggered arrangement of wooden walkways and fencing over the creekbed. This is the visual terminus of Balch Creek. It disappears under the huge grate apparatus - called a debris rack-and enters a tunnel where it travels several miles underground to an unnoticeable outlet near the shipping yards on the Willamette River. A rather humble ending to a very charming creek which you will see as you walk upstream.
The Lower Macleay Trail along Balch Creek ends in 0.85 miles where it runs into the Wildwood Trail at the Stone House. Go straight onto the Wildwood Trail, continuing up along the creek bed. You will soon cross over the creek on a footbridge and begin climbing out of the Balch Creek canyon and reach Upper Macleay Park on Cornell road, .54 miles from the Stone House.
Cross Cornell Road at the crosswalk and continue uphill on the Wildwood to the parking lot of Pittock Mansion. There is a fee to tour the inside of the mansion, but strolling the grounds is free. The eastern lawn provides spectacular views of downtown Portland and Mt Hood.
On the return trip, take the Upper Macleay Trail down to make a figure eight loop. It will return you to the Wildwood Trail just before you reach Cornell Road.
- Green Trails Maps: Forest Park, Hoyt Arboretum, Washington Park #426S
- Friends of Forest Park: Hiking and Running Guide to Forest Park
Regulations or Restrictions, etc.
The trails suffer damage from heavy use, and much off trail scrambling by unleashed dogs. In order to maintain the delicate foliage in the understory, dogs must be kept on leash and all poop scooped( bags are provided at the trailhead).
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