Hiking in Portland in August is ideal. The weather is great: bright and sunny with a high temperature about 80 degrees and low humidity. The hiking is abundant: parks everywhere with well-marked trails. The people are friendly and helpful – offering tips and gladly answering questions.
We came across the 4T trail signs at the entrance to the Portland Zoo from Washington Park. The 4T was not our plan – we were planning a circular hike around Washington Park when we abruptly decided to take on this hike instead.
The 4T has 4 segments: Trail, Tram, Trolley, and Train. The hike is the longest segment taking about 2 hours at a leisurely pace to cover the 4 miles. The trail description says 800 cumulative feet of elevation gain- which was mostly in the beginning and some at the very end.
The trail map that we picked up at the information booth at the trailhead at the Portland Zoo was woefully inadequate but the trail markings were everywhere, leaving us no doubt where we were going.
For those of you from Texas: yup – that is my long sleeve jacket that I am wearing in August for this hike in Portland.
The multicolor4T signs are posted everywhere along the trail.
As the sign indicates, Council Crest is about 1.2 miles into the hike. It is the highest point in Portland and offers views of the hills on one side and of downtown Portland on the other side.
From Council Crest Park, the trail was downhill most of the way through very heavily wooded areas. Portland is very dog-friendly – all trails (and restaurants) invite dogs that are on-leash and many of the trails actually allow dogs off-leash. We encountered a lot of very happy dogs.
The trail ended at Oregon Health and Science University Campus. After a brief walk across campus, we took the aerial tram from the university hospital. The tram ride was very smooth and offer some great views of downtown Portland, the river, and the many bridges. Afraid of heights? Not to worry – this ride is not stressful.
The tram is a major commuting route to the hospital – with a large parking lot for bikes at the foot of the tram. We caught the trolley (Portland Streetcar) at the base of the tram and took it all the way back to the NW Portland apartment where we were staying – a bargain for only $1.
We surely saw a lot of Portland by following the 4T trail. A fun day!