By Alexander Gilbert,

Tryon Creek State, wait, State? Yes, State Park. Yet another perk of living in Portland, where a 670 acre state park exists in the the city limits. Is it possible to keep up with Portland’s abnormalities? Probably not. But eight miles worth of forested hiking trails is one you don’t want to overlook. So say it five times, write it down, or whatever, just don’t forget about Tryon Creek State Natural Area.

In all likelihood pioneer settler Socrates Tryon never envisioned all the short-short garbed people running amuck on his once-land, but the property sure makes for a great jaunt. The creek flows down the gulch, which dissects the middle of the park. Trails intertwine up, down, and over the natural terrain. Eight bridges, including a suspension bridge, span Tryon Creek and its tributaries. Even the steelhead, coho, and chinook are running in Tryon Creek.

The map of Tryon (map)  at certain points, may look as if someone dumped a pile of multicolored yarn, but don’t be dismayed, those really are trails, and you can figure them out. Plus the amount of criss-crossing footpaths will keep people spread out in the park, and this is vital on a weekend with sun involved. So to give you what we all want– the insider bit of info! The trail of trails to bound across is… The Cedar Trail. This one gives off the illusion that one is miles from civilization. That at some point you incidentally passed through your apartment dweller life and into shangri-la— well, if only for a second or two. But that’s enough for most to keep coming back.

However,  slowing the pace down is befitting– with the nonprofit Friends of Tryon Creek who offer tours, classes, and workshops in the park. Team up with Friends of Tryon, and walk away an amateur naturalist. Check out their website:

Getting to Tryon can be done by public transportation on the bus lines 39 or 35. The main entrance and parking lot is off of SW Terwilliger Blvd. Another of the options is off of SW Boones Ferry Rd, look for a small gravel parking lot on side of road next to, Tryon Life Community Farm. Now promptly get on down there, and whoop it up.

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