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Newton Road to Newberry Road Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Grand fir-hemlock woods, Wildwood Trail (bobcat)
Nurse log bridge, Wildwood Trail (bobcat)
Vine maple bower, Wildwood Trail (bobcat)
Plaques at the junction of the BPA Road and Fireman 12 (Hole in the Park) (bobcat)
The hike described at the very north end of Forest Park (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Portland Parks & Recreation
  • Start point: Newton Road TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Newberry Road Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: In and out with short loops
  • Distance: 9.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 2190 feet
  • High Point: 920 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

This hike takes in the northern 4 1/2 miles of the Wildwood Trail, beginning at the Newton Road Trailhead. You'll be hiking through secondary forest with some congregations of alder and maple among the conifers. The Wildwood navigates gullied, heavily wooded slopes but reaches an opening when you come to the B.P.A. Road under the power lines at Hole in the Park. Signs of larger critters, such as elk and black bear, can be sometimes be seen in this part of Forest Park. While not ancient, the woods are quiet and serene, the large stumps monuments to the massive trees that once lived here.

Head down from the parking area in an alder grove with plantings of cedar, Douglas-fir and Oregon grape and enter green and mossy woods of western hemlock, western red-cedar, Douglas-fir, big-leaf maple and sword fern. Soon join the Wildwood Trail and go left. The trail can be muddy and slick in the wet season. The Wildwood wends in and out of small gullies on a pretty level contour here. Come to a junction - another spur trail leading up to the Newton Road Trailhead - and pass through a snowberry/ salmonberry thicket. Reenter woods and note the quarter-mile markers on trees, both blue diamonds and, higher up, actual numerals. After crossing Newton Road, the Wildwood proceeds in and out again and drops very gradually, passing by some large Douglas-firs. Pass through a mossy grove of big-leaf maples and under bowers of mossy vine maple to cross a creek. Licorice fern and maidenhair fern also beautify the woods here. The trail switchbacks up under powerlines to the B.P.A. Road. Turn left on the B.P.A. Road for 40 yards and resume the Wildwood to descend and traverse. Cross three creeks, the last in a valley principally supporting cedar and pass a memorial bench. There was logging here a long time ago and you can note plenty of stumps with springboard notches. Descend to cross a gully and pass a good-sized grand fir on the right. Then head up and cross Firelane 15.

Pass a natural log bridge that's nursing a few tiny hemlocks. Cross a creek and pass under powerlines. The trail drops gradually under grand fir, hemlock, cedar and big-leaf maple. Then it heads up to negotiate the Miller Creek drainage. Cross a couple of tributary creeks in salmonberry thickets and ascend, passing some burned snags. Here, in the northern reaches of Forest Park, you can check for elk sign on the trail. Traverse a slope and drop to a creek. The trail is raised here for good drainage and you cross a footbridge at the 30-mile marker in a deep gully. Continue up under alder, bigleaf maple, cedar and Douglas-fir to the Newberry Road Trailhead and turn back.

On the return, when you get to Firelane 15, head down the ridge to the left. Pass a good-looking yew on the left before beginning a steep descent. Walk under powerlines in a clearing with young maples and salal and then the road curves sharply to the right. It drops steeply under alders and crosses a tributary of Miller Creek. The road follows the south side of the creek for several yards up to a junction with Firelane 12. Continue right up Firelane 12, steeply at first and then leveling. Pass some big Douglas-fir stumps. The road switchbacks in an alder grove and rises to the ridgeline to join the B.P.A. Road under power lines at Hole in the Park. At this junction, there are plaques commemorating the Hole in the Park campaign to purchase this land in 1999. Go right on the B.P.A. Road, which ascends gently and the dips into the woods to join the Wildwood, where you make a left.

The second little loop begins when you reach Newton Road. Go right on Newton Road and commence hiking up it. The road levels in Douglas-fir, hemlock and cedar woods with Oregon grape, trailing blackberry and sword fern and some grand fir. The road rises and drops past a white 3/4 mile marker. Then the road drops steeply to a salmonberry thicket and levels, passing a short spur to the Wildwood on the left. The trail drops and rises under alders and big-leaf maples and reaches the 1/2 mile marker. The path flattens before you walk by a gate and reach the Newton Road Trailhead.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Dogs on leash
  • Share fire lanes and B.P.A. Road with mountain bikers

Maps

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Guidebooks that cover this hike

Parts of this hike are described in the following guidebooks:

  • Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland, Oregon by Adam Sawyer
  • One City's Wilderness: Portland's Forest Park by Marcy Cottrell Houle
  • Portland Forest Hikes by James D. Thayer
  • Hiking and Running Guide to Forest Park by Friends of Forest Park

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Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.