Hike #4: Hoyt Arboretum

I only had time for a short hike again this past weekend. I wanted some moderate elevation gain or at least some varying terrain. Using the AllTrails app, I found a trail close by…about 10 miles away. 

The Hoyt Arboretum is tree covered and has various intertwining trails that also cuts across paved roads.

Luckily the roads crossed while on the trail were not heavily traveled with cars so crossing them would not be as dangerous. 

Now because there are many variations of this trail system, you could easily get turned around on this particular hike so take caution and ensure you have a tracking app or some way to pin your starting location with your smart phone. Also if you’re hiking solo (which I normally do) let someone know where you are in case they need to send out a search party.

Now onto my hike…

The trail starts across the street from the visitor center. This is the only part of the trail where the most cars would be seen. After crossing the street the path leads to a four way intersection. 

Going straight would lead to a pavilion with  enough tables and benches to accommodate picnicking for large groups.  

Taking a left  would take one trail and taking a right would go to different trail. 

At this point of the trail, the path was paved and easy to traverse. It’s also its widest here. Again as I normally do I started my hike taking the trail to the right 

After about 10 yards, the path sloped down and intersected into another trail.  

The direction on my trail app instructed that I take a left at the intersection. 

As instructed, I turned left at the intersection and followed the trail as it meandered through the first set of trees. There was one tree that had a three large branches that I nicknamed three fingers. 

 Shortly after the three fingered tree, the trail intersected a road. I wasn’t sure if it were a service road but it was definitely wide enough for multiple vehicles. 

I continued passed the road and followed the trail to the redwood section of the trail.  

 After entering the redwoods about 100 feet, a deck appears that allows for a scenic view of the undercarriage of these massive giant trees. 

 After the observation deck, the path maze steered me across a couple of switch backs and at one point ran parallel with one of the paved roads, but only for a short distance. The path then intersected with another trail named Fir Trail. 

I took a left as guided by my app and followed the trail to another set of switch backs. At about the third switch back, there was an option to make a left which bypassed the remaining set of switch backs.  

I decided to maintain the course and follow the main trail. I crossed the footbridge and continued through the next set of switch backs.  

 Coming out of the last switch back was an incline that crossed another paved road. The trail continued on the other side of the paved road and immediately began its climb.  

 The trail rose steady over the paved road and also became muddy as the gravel transitioned into natural dirt path. There were some evidence that hikers ahead of me slipped as their shoe prints were elongated from a normal size print to a smear of mud.  

I shortened my stride to ensure my footing and to minimize the potential of slipping. 

At the top of the incline the trail leveled and curved around the knoll where a small footbridge was constructed to allow the natural drain off of water to pass under it. 

 The trail continued and began its slight rise again while meandering through some underbrush. The trail began its descent and once again crossed the same paved road I crossed previously. 

The trail continued on the other side of the paved road and also continued its descent to the lowest point of the trail. At the bottom of the trail, the app instructed to make s sharp right. I made the sharp switch back and followed the brook back up the trail. 

 At the next intersection, I followed my app and climbed a set of wooden staircase which then led to a sharp right and a series of scalloped or half loops. The half looped path was a steady climb out of the lowest part of the trail and was the toughest part of the hike thus far. 

The trail made a final crossing of another paved road. At this point the trail  started its transition from natural path to gravel then to paved. The pavilion seen at the start of the trail had become visible once again.  

The trail ended and returned back to the four way intersection.  

Since it only took an hour, I decided to take another loop around. This time I deviated slightly and took s few different spurs. 

I returned to intersection where the pavilion was located about 45 minutes later. I made a right and headed back across the busy road to the visitor center and to my awaiting car. 

Hike #4 summary:

  • place: Hoyt Arboretum
  • miles: 3.1
  • trail type: looped twice
  • elevation change: 111′
  • weather: overcast and drizzling 
  • Wind: slight breeze
  • temp: 51 degrees 
  • completion time: 2 hours

#hiking #trails #outdoors #living #hoytarboretum #singlelife #pacificnorthwest #menshealth #portland


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