Friday, March 27, 2009

SE ~ Mount Tabor

Date visited: March 24, 2009, bird species count-- 20
Agency: Portland Parks and Recreation
Path Surface: Gravel, dirt and pavement
Elevation gain/loss: 200 feet
Distance: Three miles as described
Ratings: Setting +++ Calorie-burning ++++
Directions: From SE 60th Ave. in southeast Portland, turn east off SE Salmon St. Turn left at Mt. Tabor Park Road to the first parking lot, across from picnic area A. On Wednesdays when the park is closed to vehicles, follow Belmont to turn south on SE 69th for parking near the entrance.

One of the eastside buttes, Tabor is a multi-use and lovely city park. Expect many people (and dogs) on most every day.

Trails crisscross through the park, but the Friends of Mt Tabor Park have marked some routes for nice overviews of all the park has to offer. This trail guide was available (today) at the kiosk at the edge of the parking lot. We took the “Blue Trail,” which involves some climbing, stairs and, right now, circling around construction.

Start out down the road to the right from the kiosk 50 yards until you see a blue topped post. Turn downhill onto the footpath here. Turns and intersections are marked with these posts, and some blue arrows stuck in various places here and there. Although the trail is marked, the trail guide is helpful for detours, like the current construction area near Reservoir 5. You'll see woodsy and open areas, reservior views and wonderful Portland skyline shots. A few wildflowers are blooming even now; undoubtedly more to come.

The park is closed to all public vehicle traffic on Wednesdays, but it's only a hop, skip and jump to the entrance from your car on 69th St. The absence of most vehicles (maintenance trucks rumble through) makes the park all the better. Morning bird song walks take place here on Wednesday during the spring as well.

Trail map without the Friends' route highlighting.

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