also known as the Steel Bridge to Hawthorne Bridge loop, this is a nice short distance, easily walkable for most folks in an hour. It is completely ADA-compliant and wheelchair friendly. Between the river, the river traffic, the homeless folks and the bits of art and history, there is always something to look at.
Waterfront park is the "older" portion of this loop. The path lines the seawall, giving you an almost continuous view of the river. The park contains the Battleship Oregon Memorial, the Founders Stone, Salmon Street Springs, the Oregon Maritime Center & Museum, and the Japanese American Historical Plaza.
The Eastbank Esplanade is the new portion with many art projects, historical markers, docks, and a floating walkway. Benches line portions of Esplanade, and at Madison Plaza, there is even a tiny park as well as a statue of former mayor Vera Katz. There's lots to look at, but keep sharp! Lots of traffic from bicyclists, runners, skaters, and walkers.
A wide walkway/bikeway on the Hawthorne Bridge allows passage on the south side of the loop, and the Steel Bridge pedestrian and bicycle walkway, level with the pathways on both side, allows passage on the North.
To access the loop from downtown:
walk east towards the river until you come to Waterfront park. The loop is right along the seawall and bollards.
To access the loop from Rose Quarter or the Convention Center
The NE entrance is at Interstate/Lloyd Blvd at the base of the Steel Bridge.