Wednesday, November 23, 2005
SW~ Upper Fanno Creek Trail
Date of visit: November 17, 2005
Path Surface: Paved
Elevation gain/loss: 66 feet
Distance: slightly over 2 miles (10k option described at end)
Ratings: Setting ++ Calorie-burning ++
Directions: From Hwy 217, east on Allen Blvd to 92nd. GPS N45.28.288, W122.46.310. For easier parking, continue south on 92nd to Garden Home Rd (curves left). Park at the Garden Home Rec Center, 7475 SW Oleson Rd. (Intersection of Garden Home and Oleson Rd.)
Another completed section of the 15 mile path, this piece is great for a short stroll. I like to go up first and then down, so I start from the west end at the intersection of Allen and 92nd, but parking is a little dicey here. (If you don't mind starting at the top of the hill--it's not big-- park at the Rec Center.) From the west end, amble through the vegetation canopy .1 mile to pass by Vista Brook Park. (Of course, you may want to take a spin around the park as well). The trail's namesake does not appear until nearly .2 of a mile, when you cross over a wooden bridge. Because Fanno Creek flows through nearby Portland Golf Club, not much of it can be seen from the trail. A female and two male wood ducks were, however, visible from the bridge today.
At the halfway mark, a 10 foot high chain link barrier protects path users from the occasional errant golf ball from the Club. At .9 mile, emerge from the rich variety of path-side vegetation into the playing field for the rec center. To make sure you get the full mile, zip over to the stop sign at the intersection of Oleson and Garden Home.
From here, return as you came, or you can create a noisy loop by turning right on Garden Home Rd. Follow the sidewalk and then the paved path until you can't stand the traffic noise anymore. Then, duck back into the neighborhood on one of the side streets that connects back to the Fanno Creek Trail, at 78th, 81st, 82nd, 83rd, or your last chance at 84th.
For a late fall day, we saw plenty of bird activity, including chickadees, gold and ruby crown kinglets, song sparrows, towhees, a stellar and scrub jay, and heard the klear of a red-shafted flicker. This walk is also beautiful in spring because of the blossoming trees!
To extend this walk into a 10k, start from the Garden Home Rec Center and on your way down the path, loop into Vista Brook Park. After returning to the main path, continue right to 92nd, cross at the crosswalk to Scholls Ferry Rd, cross it, again at the crosswalk. Turn right on Scholls Ferry a short distance to Elm, turn left. Right on Chestnut, right on Spruce, left on Royal Woodland, right on Cherry, left on Cyprus, right onto 99th for a short distance, left onto the greenway path on the left (near wooden fence). When the path ends, continue straight through the parking lot which puts you onto 5th St. Cross Western Ave at the light. Continue on 5th to Little People's Park, where you turn around and retrace your steps to the end of the greenway trail. Right onto Chestnut, left on Elm, right on Scholls Ferry, left on Allen to return to the Fanno Creek Trail (cross 92nd). Return on the trail to the Rec Center.