In our effort to guide you to the easiest ways to get outside whenever you can, we're developing a series of lunchtime hikes you can take around Portland/Vancouver. Our cities have created so many beautiful parks and paths that can get you out of your own head and breathe in some fresh air even if you've only got your lunch break to do it.
So, we got out the map and put our finger down on Springbook Iron Mountain Loop in Lake Oswego. This little park promised a 3.5 miles easy loop of family-friendly flat trails. Parking is free at the end of Sundeleaf Road right off the main drag (Country Club Road) in Lake Oswego. We grabbed our cameras, day packs and optimistically headed into the trail. Woo! Hiking!
After 40 minutes of circling around these trails that all seem to lead to someone's driveway, we were pretty disappointed. As neighborhood trails go, this little pathway is fine for joggers and dog walkers, but doesn't hold much interest as far as wildlife or interesting landscapes. We were encouraged by the online description that there were some footbridges to be crossed within the trail. Here I am, showing off one of these impressive footbridges:
Ok, not so impressive.
After looping around every trail we could find and pretty much seeing the same sights around every bend, we decided to pack up and head somewhere with a little more shazam! This is what led us to George Rogers Park.
George Rogers Park Lunchtime Hiking
Located in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, this park is somewhere I've photographed family portraits for years, but never ventured into the forest trails. I'm so glad we did!
The park itself is really cool, with a nice beach on the Willamette River, a REAL footbridge and trails leading into forested area. The trails go for about 3.5 miles and are perfect for families and dogs.
Though we didn't venture all the way to the "Hog Island Viewpoint," we still had an amazing time taking photos and hopping rocks for a solid hour.
We visited the park on a Saturday in March and it was not busy.
Where to Hike at George Rogers Park
Details of Walking & Hiking at George Rogers Park
The main area of the park has a large green space, perfect for throwing the ball for your dog. Although you're supposed to keep your dog leashed at this park, I rarely saw dog owners following that rule. (Ohhh, Portland.) From the impressive "Blast Furnace" that evidently was part of Lake Oswego's past iron industry, make your way down a handicapped-ready ramp or staircase to the gorgeous beach. Perfect for picnics and people-watching, it's one of the few sandy beaches on the Willamette within city limits that is open to the public. Kids will enjoy interacting with the many ducks and watching speedy Labradors chase sticks into the river.
From the parking lot you can venture over the pretty footbridge and then take a right or a left and stroll through the single-track pathways leading through the woods. You'll see a variety of trees and tons of birds. The most impressive aspect of this lunchtime hike for us was the amount of moss covering the forest floor. Even for native Oregonians, it's impressive and beautiful.
Most people stroll along the single-track flat trail that winds through the woods. But the real fun is going rogue and hopping down among the moss-covered floor and mini trails that lead to the streams and many pools of reflective water. Even in March, it wasn't so muddy that we couldn't make our way through the wooded areas in our sneakers. In summer, this trail is easily flip-flop friendly.
Bring a Picnic Lunch to George Rogers Park
There are a ton of great reasons to visit this park, and we encourage you to grab your takeout or homemade lunch and stroll through this park on your lunch break. You don't have to venture far from your car or get muddy to take advantage of this beautiful space. Sit on one of the many benches and enjoy your sushi or sandwich, watch the kids and the ducks, or stretch your legs along one of the trails leading from the footbridge. It will make your day so much better!!!
Have You Spent Time at George Rogers Park? We Want to Hear from You!
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