Tuesday, October 31, 2006

SE ~ Laurelhurst Park to Lone Fir Cemetery

Date visited: October 27, 2006
Agency: City of Portland and Metro
Path Surface: Paved with one small stretch of gravel
Elevation gain/loss: minimal
Distance: Four or more miles round trip
Ratings: Setting: ++ Calorie-burning ++
Directions: Laurelhurst Park, I-84 to NE 39th St exit, turn south on 39th to SE Oak. Turn right to

Try this out as a perfect warmup to get you in the mood for Halloween.

Begin at Laurelhurst Park, and circle the perimeter of the park on the wide paved path. Feel free to wander the park for a bit of extra mileage and scenery. Especially inviting to view is the spring-fed pond, where, if you are lucky, an amazing assortment of water birds drop by. Sometimes, though, you may not want to approach the pond water, because, in spite of efforts to clean it up, this pond sees a lot of abuse, both human and wild. Around the edge of the tree-filled park, you’ll see and hear a variety of birds you may not expect in the middle of the city.

After enjoying the park, walk south to SE Stark St. (A complete circuit of the perimeter of the park is almost 1 mile.) Turn right on Stark, or wander the adjoining neighborhoods in a westerly direction to avoid Stark Street’s traffic noise. At SE 26th, turn left (south) passing by the east edge of

The cemetery was named for the lone fir on site in 1866. Walk the .8 mile perimeter of the cemetery for a stunning display of fall colors in the variety of trees there now. Though you can simply complete your circuit of the grounds, it is difficult not to be pulled in by the historical significance of the those laid to rest here (Curry, Dekum, Hawthorne, Lane, Lovejoy, Macleay)and the unique and beautiful headstones. More than 25,000 people are buried in the cemetery.

Wander back to your car by heading east, although you may want to detour a few blocks to the south to take at look at the church tower and stained glass windows of the Hinson Baptist Church at SE 20th and Salmon. Congratulations, you've burned enough calories to eat a Halloween-sized candy bar!

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