Another day, another short-and-easy metro walk...
I was in the mood for visiting a river. The weather was iffy and it was both midday and midweek. I had to be in the area for other reasons, so it was a good time to check out Mary S. Young State Park, in West Linn.
Here are a couple of links about the park:
the trail map: https://westlinnoregon.gov/sites/defaul ... 300dpi.pdf
the OregonHikers field guide: https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... _Loop_Hike
I didn't do the loop hike described in the field guide. I mostly wandered around on the trails between the parking lot and the Willamette River, mostly the Riverside Loop and the little spurs and loops off of that. I probably didn't do more than a mile or so, spending most of my available time on exploring and meandering and just plain sitting by the river.
The bridge to Cedar Island has not yet been installed for the season. Also, Mary's Trail is closed at both ends of the trail.
The Riverside Loop is mostly paved. It loops down to the Willamette River and then back up again. It goes through a second-growth forest of fairly large trees, with riparian trees and vegetation near the water. As is usual with urban forests, introduced/naturalized species (ivy, blackberries, wild cherry trees, etc.) mix with native species. Birds are abundant, both in the forest and on the water. Dogs are also abundant -- leashed on the trails, but also happily enjoying the designated off-leash areas. A few bikes sped by, and people bearing fishing gear were fairly common.
I didn't bother to check out the sports fields or anything like that. I'm going to leave the trails that loop between the parking lot and the road for another time. That would include the trails that are described here on the forum guide as part of the larger loop.
I really enjoyed this little interlude. The park was less crowded than I expected, making social distancing possible. The river was wonderfully calm and peaceful with only a few boats zipping by. It was just what I was in the mood for. The forest was nice, too. The small spurs off of the main trail feel very secretive and secluded. Not wilderness-y, but more of a secluded-trail feeling instead of a sidewalk or popular-trail feeling.
I'll definitely return to this park. There's a lot left to explore. I don't know what the usual crowds are like, but it was very reasonable for a city park while I was there.
This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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