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Oaks Bottom 7/27/06

Posted by jimsiff (2006-07-28)

 Hike Info:

Trailhead: Oaks Bottom parking area, lat 45.48583 / long 122.64992 approx.
Total Miles: 3
Elevation Gain: ~100'
Difficulty: Easy
Family Friendly: Yes
All Season: Yes

For our second installment of weekday evening family hikes, we decided to stay a bit closer to home and surprise the kids with an unusual hike destination. Our plan was to hike through the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to Oaks Park, where we'd let the kids play around and ride the roller coasters and other thrill rides. When the park closed at 9:00, we'd walk back along the Springwater Cooridor bike path, then up through the norther part of Oaks Bottom and back to the car. Total distance is just short of 3 miles, with minimal elevation gain.

We started at the Oaks Bottom parking area on Milwaukee Ave., just off McLoughlin Blvd in SE Portland. The path starts out paved for the first mile down into the wetlands. After a bit, we intersected with a dirt path heading south along the edge of the Refuge. We followed this path along the marshy banks of the lake.

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We could hear several kinds of birds in the area. We even had a domestic cat join us for a bit. Maybe he was going bird hunting... I'm not sure. As we got closer to Oaks Park, the bird calls were mixed with shrieks and screams from other kids enjoying themselves on all the attractions. It wasn't until we could read the writing on the Oaks Park roller rink building that the kids knew that was our surprise destination.

The kids had about an hour and a half of unlimited ride usage. With the small crowd, they got as many rides in as they'd get in 3+ hours on a weekend trip. Monica got in on the action, and rode a rollercoaster for her first time.

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Once the park closed at 9:00, we put on our headlamps and walked back to the car, all on the paved Springwater Cooridor path and a short connector through the northern tip of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Along the way, there were nice views of the Willamette River, the west hills, and Ross Island.

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This was a fun diversion from the more typical hikes, and great for families during the summer. On Mondays, you can get buy one get one free ride bracelets, and Thursdays they have 25% off ride bracelets if you have a Safeway card.

Re: Oaks Bottom 7/27/06

Posted by worldofaaron (2006-08-02)
Love the way you fooled the kids into thinking it was just a plain 'ol hike.  Was it tough to keep it quiet?

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