9/20/11

Free things to do in the Portland Summer: Oaks Bottom!

Okay, I know this is pushing it, as last week was pretty rainy and very much fall weather, but today the sun is shining and you've got to know about Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge! Salem, Sam and I went there on a whim a couple weeks ago. Everyone was in need to get outside and experience some nature. We searched around and found this wildlife refuge complete with hiking trails right around our neighborhood by Oaks Park! It is a beautiful marshland home to hawks, quail, ducks, woodpeckers, and so much more. We even spotted a blue heron hanging out by the water.
Salem was very excited to say hi to all the ducks and to point out how dirty the water was (if you don't know, marsh water is very stagnant and green). Most of the trail was in the shade, which was a nice break for me, since I carried Salie on my back half of the hike. We trekked from one trailhead (starting at SE 7th & Sellwood Blvd) and ending at another (Se Milwaukie Ave, just south of Holgate) and then back down Milwaukie Ave back to Sellwood Park, which ended up being about 3.5 miles. The view coming back on Milwaukie Ave was beautiful--a perfect view of the city and the green that surrounds it!
Oaks bottom view
But did you know that part of this marsh used to be a landfill for construction waste material? I would never have guessed, but you know the hubs is in that construction stuff and he hears these things. The Portland Parks & Rec website corroborated his story. Apparently, when the city acquired the property in 1969, they layered the landfill with soil, wanting to preserve one of the only marshlands in Portland. Now, it's quite beautiful. It was pretty dry on our visit, but I think it would be much more marshy now after a few days of rain. It seems to me that Oaks Bottom would be beautiful anytime of year!






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