Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

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bobcat
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Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

Post by bobcat » November 18th, 2014, 6:19 pm

It was a busy weekend with work-related obligations, but I managed to get out for a few hours on Sunday. I walked around my favorite loop (8 ½ miles) in Forest Park beginning at the Lower Saltzman Road Trailhead off of Highway 30. Even though the ground was frozen, the trails were busy and I had to park my car about 100 yards back from the gate. The only big view of the day was across the Willamette railroad bridge to St. Helens, Rainier, and Adams.
Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier from Salzman Road, Forest Park.jpg
Lower Salzman Trailhead, Forest Park.jpg
I hiked up Salzman Road and then split off on the lower section of the Maple Trail. I followed the trail to where it joined Leif Erikson Drive, took a left and then joined Salzman Road again to reach the Wildwood Trail heading south. The Wildwood undulates along here, the highlight being in the two south forks of Salzman Creek, where you’ll see the biggest trees in the park, a handful of six-foot wide Douglas-firs near the trail (They’re not the tallest trees in Portland: that honor belongs to a Douglas-fir below the Stone House on Balch Creek).
Footbridge on Maple Trail from Leif Erikson, Forest Park.jpg
Distance marker, Leif Erikson Drive, Forest Park.jpg
Saltzman Road sign, Forest Park.jpg
Biker on Salzman Road, Forest Park.jpg
Wildwood Trail-Salzman Road Junction, Forest Park.jpg
Vine maple thicket, Wildwood Trail, forest Park.jpg
Big Douglas-fir, Salzman Creek, Forest Park.jpg
Six-foot Douglas-fir, Wildwood Trail, Forest Park.jpg
You need to ignore a short tie trail to the Maple Trail to see these, and I continued on to the Maple Trail itself to take it back as it wound below the Wildwood. The trail is officially closed between the Koenig Trail and Firelane 4 junctions because a bridge is out over a gully. The closure has been in effect for a couple of years now, but is generally ignored and a little detour in and out of the gully has been carved by legions of bipeds and quadrupeds.
Alders, Wildwood Trail, Forest Park.jpg
Switchback, Maple Trail, Forest Park.jpg
There were lots of joggers and bikers and hikers and canines out. It’s an often uttered cliché, but it’s a true treasure to have such a quick escape near the heart of the city.

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woodswalker
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Re: Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

Post by woodswalker » November 19th, 2014, 8:23 am

Great! I was up on the Wildwood Sunday too, although I was further south. I really like that alder picture.
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miah66
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Re: Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

Post by miah66 » November 19th, 2014, 8:54 am

This is a standby route for me in FP, thanks to Sullivan's 100 Hikes book. I enjoy it in the winter after work, with a headlamp. I did it during a cold snap last year, I remember it being 10 degrees! I was the only car at the gate! Go figure!
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forestkeeper
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Re: Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

Post by forestkeeper » November 19th, 2014, 10:29 am

Nice photos! I was on the Leif Erickson Sunday. My 1st time to FP. I'll have to hike your route next. A different assortment of people. Quite different than the Gorge or Mt. Hood. When I said hi or hello, only about 1/4 of people replied back. Everyone else just ignores others like they're ghosts. :lol:

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woodswalker
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Re: Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

Post by woodswalker » November 19th, 2014, 11:12 am

Hi, I notice the lack of greetings as well. Seems like it gets better the further you are from a trailhead. I've also noticed it late afternoon in the gorge close to the really popular trailheads.
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bobcat
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Re: Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

Post by bobcat » November 19th, 2014, 11:54 am

Actually, I was surprised at how many friendly greetings I got on Sunday, it being Forest Park in the big city and all. Probably over half the people I saw on trail made eye contact (which I always try to do) and said hello.

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woodswalker
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Re: Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

Post by woodswalker » November 19th, 2014, 12:43 pm

bobcat wrote:Actually, I was surprised at how many friendly greetings I got on Sunday, it being Forest Park in the big city and all. Probably over half the people I saw on trail made eye contact (which I always try to do) and said hello.
That's great!
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Sean Thomas
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Re: Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

Post by Sean Thomas » November 19th, 2014, 7:09 pm

Nice opening photo, BC! And thanks for the heads up on the big trees.


I find most of the folks in the park to be pretty friendly too but there are the occasional party poopers :)

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AAdamsPDX
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Re: Maple-Wildwood Loop (Forest Park)

Post by AAdamsPDX » November 19th, 2014, 8:19 pm

Nice report, and thanks for the reminder on Forest Park! I did the All Trails Challenge a few years back and remembered really loving a few stretches of the Wildwood, but because I did so much of the park in a short time period I wound up forgetting which parts I wanted to revisit. I think the stretch of the Wildwood you've described here is one of those places. I also love the section just to the west of the Newton Road trailhead. (That's one that I remember, anyway!)

Speaking of maples - another favorite corner that I DO remember is the Ridge Trail about 2/3 of the way up to Leif Erikson. The ginormous vine maple there is stunning.
Maple.jpg
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