Hiking the Wildwood Trail: How to Sound Impressive Without Actually Hiking 30 Miles

Posing for a picture at mile 4! Picture Credit: Everette Cogswell

Looking for a quarantine activity? Losing your mind stuck inside with your annoying siblings? Well boy do we have the thing for you. Hiking in Forest Park is the solution to all of your problems. We hiked six and a half miles, sacrificing Everette’s dainty little feet to give you a review of some of the notorious 30 mile Wildwood Trail. We hiked from the start of the Wildwood trail at the Vietnam Memorial in Forest Park all the way to Lower Macleay Park, about 646 feet of elevation gain.*All of the following asterisks will contain commentary from Sophie, mostly about Everette’s very dramatic approach to hiking. She would like you to know that this approach actually makes the experience more enjoyable (take that with a grain of salt).   

Don’t want to catch COVID-19 on your intrepid explorations? Well don’t worry your pretty little head about it! Almost every person on the trail was wearing a mask and keeping their distance. Any of the people who weren’t wearing masks were respectful about covering their faces and giving space to passersby. In fact, we didn’t see very many people along the trail itself. The only time we saw a big group of people was at the Pittock Mansion and the Witches Hut *which was apparently underwhelming, and even then we both felt pretty safe.

If you don’t want to get too muddy then you’re in luck. Even after all of the December rainfall, the trail was fairly solid with only some muddy patches in the last two miles. Overall you’re probably safe to wear your cute, new, Instagrammable hiking boots. You should break them in first though, or you’ll end up joining Everette in the hall of fame for complaining about how much your feet hurt every five minutes. 

If we’re being honest, there were a lot fewer bumps in the road than we thought there would be. There was the complaining, the occasional slip, but the biggest mistake occurred when a very serious conversation about Gilmore Girls arose and we found ourselves at the archery range *If you think Jess and Rory are meant to be, you’re just wrong. At the moment we thought we had made a wrong turn, so we backtracked. But that turned out to be counterproductive because Sophie’s tracking app told us we were right the whole time. Not too bad, but it must have been funny to see two teenage girls looking lost in a park.

Didn’t get a quarantine puppy? This trail had an abundance of adorable dogs to admire from afar. Unfortunately you don’t get to keep them and have to restrain yourself from stealing all the little balls of fluff. *I’m pretty sure the only reason Everette didn’t cry was the existence of puppies on the way to the Pittock Mansion.  If you’re looking to do some puppy window shopping then look no further. You might even find a new dog breed to look at on shelter websites when you’re feeling lonely. 

Once at the Pittock Mansion you’ll get to enjoy the view of Portland. You also get the chance to experience the thrill of silently knowing you worked for that view. *Or if you’re Everette you’ll enjoy the view of the benches much more.

Famous actor spotting: If there are any Grey’s Anatomy fans out there then you will be thrilled to hear we spotted Greg Germann, who plays Dr. Tom Koracick (who is alive and well by the way). We crossed paths right before we set foot on the pool noodle bridge of death, which earned its name due to the somehow award winning design and the view of cars passing beneath you. Luckily, we made it to the other side just fine. *Everette did NOT think she would be just fine, for the record. 

Forest Park will put a little spice back into your boring quarantine life. From the puppies, to the stunning views of Portland, there is never a dull moment. Whether you choose to believe it or not, we had a very fun time, despite all the complaining previously mentioned *mostly Everette. Hiking is the perfect activity for COVID-19: we were able to distance ourselves the whole time and felt very safe. One final tip is to bring snacks! *We learned the hard way.

Leave a Reply