Walking Tours – Self guided
Many of the walks I look to have will be exploring different neighborhoods in Portland.
Downtown Water Front Loop
1) Downtown water front the short loop. You follow the walkway up stream in WaterFront Park to the Hawthorne Bridge and cross it. On the other side follow East Bank Esplanade down stream to the Steel Bridge and cross it to return to your starting point.
2) Downtown Water front the Longer loop. Water Front Ave to Tilliacon Crossing then back on the East Side Trails to cross on the Steel Bridge. Oregon Hike’s website has a description of this 7.9 mile walk.
For those who want to get a feel for Forest Park but not have to hike the eighty miles of trail in it, this is a nice little hike on a good trail.
Forest Park – Balch to Pittock
This cluster is for walkers and runners. This is a good walk with attractions to see and a chance to experience a Northwest Forest. You will find:
Just walking and wandering one of our interesting Neighborhoods can be fun and give you a good feel for the people of Portland. These neighborhoods streets are centers for retail, restaurant and entertainment. Each were run down at one time and have revitalize over the years. It first started with NW 23rd that showed it could be done and is way more up scale now. Then Hawthorne took off and my friends from out of town say if feels like Berkeley. Then Mississippi Ave started with street fairs, then a music scene and has now had a lot of redevelopment. Alberta Street is still a work in progress. It is well known for its wild last Thursday street fairs in the summer.
These neighborhood transitions and redevelopment are part of Portland’s Portlandia spirit. When a run down neighborhood with good bones has cheep rent then enterprising artist would set up studios and galleries. In time they became “discovered” as the new hip place to go. Crime dropped, real estate prices climbed and they became gentrified. It was at the time between run down and gentrified is where the magic of “Keep Portland Weird” and Portlandia happens.
The first neighborhood to change has greatly gentrified. New comers often referred to as Knob Hill. New construction and chain stores are now part of it. But still some of the old buildings with good bones and small shops live on.
I have been told by friend from California that it has the vibes of Berkeley. Some redevelopment has taken place but a lot of fixed up old lives on. You can still find your head shops and floating tanks here but also nice eateries.
Mississippi started out very funky but has seen a lot of redevelopment. Still mostly independent merchants but that may change soon.
This is one of the later places to see change. It had been the heart of the African American community until young urban settlers start moving in. It is still in the process of taking two steps forward and one step back on its redevelopment.