walking Portland Archives

walking Portland

Portland, Oregon is a great city for walking. First of all, we have short blocks. Second of all, we have very pedestrian friendly drivers. Third, at least in the central city, we have excellent transit options.

Walkers come from all over the world to walk the Portland Marathon or the Vancouver International Discovery Walk Festival. But there are nice walks of every size, for every walker. Here are just a few.

Keller blocks

Lovejoy Fountain Park: portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?action=ViewPark&PropertyID=242
Pettygrove Park: portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?action=ViewPark&PropertyID=511&subareas=6

walk - 09/28/2005
the Keller blocks
Perhaps the nicest part of downtown Portland to walk is also the least walked. The Urban Renewal or Keller (named for Ira Keller, the first chairman of the Portland Development Commission in the 1950s) blocks are a fifteen-block loop, and one of the most pleasant areas of downtown Portland.

These walking areas are located in the south end of downtown and have the distinction of being hidden in plain sight. The paths are heavily treed, and dotted with parks and fountains. This is the perfect place to stretch your legs, cool off on a warm day, get a breath of fresh air, and slow down for a moment.

The concrete paths follow the outlines of 2nd and 3rd Avenues, between Market and Lincoln Streets. Let's start at the Ira Keller Fountain (aka Fourcourt Fountain) at 3rd & Market. Fourcourt is a popular place to bring the kids during hot weather, as well as just hang out, eat lunch, etc. Noted architect Lawrence Halprin designed the fountain, and Ursula LeGuin wrote about it.

If you're a bit peckish, a burrito from Fuego (on Market between 2nd & 3rd) is a cheap, portable option. The Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield (100 SW Market St, enter on what would be 2nd by the fountain) offers discounted healthy meals. Other options include Carafe (french bistro, lovely wines, good mixed drinks) and Murata (some of the best sushi in town).

Parts of the blocks, but by no means all, are wheelchair-accessible.

Lawrence Halprin's urban plazas: Ada Louise Huxtable, America's gift to architecture criticism, once called Portland's Keller Fountain "one of the most important urban spaces since the Renaissance." Designed by San Francisco landscape designer Lawrence Halprin, its stunning waterfall offset by wading pools and platforms invites both contemplation and participation. The Keller -- along with two Halprin-designed public spaces nearby, the Lovejoy Fountain and Pettygrove Park -- changed the way American landscape architects thought about city parks, and it sparked a Portland tradition of great urban plazas and parks. Southwest Third and Clay Street, across from Keller Auditorium
from the Oregonian, World Class Oregon II, Sunday, October 02, 2005

filled under walking, downtown
May 31, 2007 | Permalink

SW Terwilliger Blvd Parkway

terwilliger map

get to Duniway Park via trimet
find a bike route to Duniway Park

get to Terwilliger & Capitol Hwy via trimet
find a bike route to Terwilliger & Capitol Hwy

Looking up Terwilliger


more pictures of Terwilliger Blvd
If you need to incorporate some hills into your walk, run, or cycling, and you'd like to do it relatively close to downtown, and you'd like it to be gorgeous and wooded, with views of the city, the bridges, Mt. St. Helens and Mt Hood, Terwilliger Blvd was made just for you.

This route features wide sidewalks for walkers, runners, skaters, skateboarders and the like, as well as bike lanes on both side of the Boulevard. It is largely wooded, so it's generally a bit cooler than walking/running downtown.

Some fun features include the staircase to the old Veterans Hospital and the Portland Health Course. There are also benches, several water fountains, and a bathroom.

If you're coming from downtown, start at Duniway Park, just south of PSU. Walk west, past the lilac garden, and then up the hill at the aptly named Terwilliger.

It's not a terribly long scenic byway: roundtrip from Duniway Park to Capitol Highway and back is about 5 miles. Proceed on to Barbur Blvd, and roundtrip, you have 6 and 2/3 miles.

filled under
September 1, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

SW Trails


SWTrails is a volunteer pedestrian advocate group of Portland's SW Neighborhoods Coalition.

filled under
September 25, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Eastbank Esplanade-Tom McCall Waterfront park loop

2.66 miles
Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade:
Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park:

map, Esplanade-Waterfront loopalso 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.

filled under Waterfront loop, close to OCC, things to do
July 14, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (2)



airwaves art ATMs
cameras cinema cyber
farmers markets gas stations groceries reading
record/CD shopping
splash thrifts & resale video yarn stores 'zines


beer food


houseparts navigation neighborhoods parents renting queer


accommodations Oregon Convention Center PDX airport things to do


home events links site map

Wanna contact us? Send us press releases, comments and, well, whatever? Here's how:
-vickijean at gmail dot com-


All the individual entries