Friday, January 16, 2009

SE ~ Reed College: The Canyon

Date visited: January 12, 2009
Agency: Reed College
Path Surface: Dirt (muddy today), some wood chipped sections
Elevation gain/loss: 40 feet
Distance: 1.75 round trip as described
Ratings: Setting +++ Calorie-burning ++
Directions: Go north from Woodstock or south from Holgate on SE 28th Ave in southeast Portland. Parking at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden or on campus off of SE 28th.

Combine this walk with Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and you will be surprised what hidden treasures lie between city streets in these two areas.

From the Garden, cross SE 28th Ave, follow the sidewalk into the campus parking lots (or start from the parking lot), keeping the tennis courts on left. Walk toward the theater building and turn left on the sidewalk in front of the theater (on Botsford Drive). Walk down hill about 50 yards and look for steps down the bank to a trail. On the trail, head back toward the theater building on the boardwalk and continue under its edge, following Crystal Springs Creek. Continue on the trail past the waterfall which should be to your right. When you reach pavement, jog slightly right and continue on the dirt trail.

Soon you are in fine view of the lake, where winter waterfowl paddle and dive. Common snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus) glows brightly white in contrast to the gray day. Continue eastward, ignoring all side trails. At the far end of the lake, bare branches fan out over the marsh, rife with perching birds. We saw three species of woodpeckers and many kinglets, both ruby-crowned and golden-crowned. Round the loop to head back westward, again staying with the main trail. At a maintenance parking area, turn right to walk across the dam and then left to retrace your steps on the dirt path along the creek.

We listed 24 species of birds on our walk today.

Aerial view.

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