I believe I mentioned the Springwater Corridor in my post on the Eastbank Esplanade. In any case, the Esplanade essentially connects to the Corridor, tho technically speaking there’s a small section that’s part of the Willamette Greenway belonging to neither path. So I hiked across the Hawthorne Bridge & once back on the east side, I headed south.
The Greenway path is quite lovely in itself, & also passes the OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry), so I’ll leave that for a separate post. It must be said that the north end of the Springwater Corridor isn’t an especially inviting prospect: your initial vista is simply McLoughlin Boulevard, & as you wend your way up the street, you eventually head past the Ross Island Sand & Gravel Company cement plant! After that, however, things begin to look up considerably.
The Springwater Corridor is part of a 40-mile loop of walking & biking trails in the greater Portland area; the loop itself begins in the southern suburb of Boring (in the sense that any loop “begins”) & travels eventually all the way to the St John’s Bridge in North Portland. Per Wikipedia, “it follows a former railway line of the same name in its route from Boring, through Gresham, to Portland, where it ends near the Eastbank Esplanade.”
It was a warm day, & even a trifle muggy, at least by western standards; to my right as I headed toward my destination in the southern Portland neighborhood of Sellwood, there were woods & occasional small meadows, & of course always the Willamette River; to my left, the railroad itself, behind cyclone fencing. Birdsong; meadow flowers; views of the Southwest Waterfront & the Ross Island Bridge; an art installation in a meadow near the pier of an abandoned bridge; herons feeding in the backwater; the Ross Island Sand & Gravel Co. boathouse; redtail hawks overhead; the Oaks Bottom Wildlife refuge & the Oaks Amusement Park both accessible at various points (tho I didn’t avail myself of them); & at a certain point a small locomotive running north up the line. There was an almost steady stream of bicyclists & quite a few joggers, particularly nearer the north end; I was one of the few walkers.
As you can see from the photos, there’s a lot to see along the way. At the end of the line, I’d walked about 4 miles of the Corridor to reach Sellwood, & probably a good half mile from the west end of Hawthorne Bridge to reach the Corridor proper. As someone who deals with a significant respiratory condition, this seemed like an achievement indeed! I was helped by the fact that the grade on the Corridor is nominal—essentially flat ground for walking or biking.
Now here I was in Sellwood, very far from my north Portland digs—what to do next?: Tune in next week & you’ll find out.