Name: Robert Gray School to Gabriel Park
Neighborhood: Multnomah, Hillsdale, Bridlemile, Hayhurst
Distance: 4.77 miles
Elevation Change: 359 ft
Start/End Location: Robert Gray Middle School
Map Links: Mobile* Browser
This 4.7 mile hike will take you through Albert Kelly Park and Gabriel Park, alongside Fanno Creek Natural Area, and through the newly established Texas Wetlands project. You will use some of the many rights-of-way throughout SW Portland and enjoy the fruits of local neighborhoods’ labor as they work to bring back native plants along the way. You will also see some of SWTrails’ many projects as they work to build trails, bridges, and steps to get us where we want to go.
This hike is a loop and can be started anywhere along the route. This description begins at Robert Gray Middle School. Start your hike at the SW Corner of Robert Gray Middle school. Parking is available along SW Kanan St, or SW 25th Ave. The entrance to Hillsdale Park is at the intersection of Kanan and 25th. Head west and stay on the path that follows the embankment at the west end of Robert Gray fields. You will see the off-leash portion of Hillsdale Park to your left, which is a popular meeting place for neighborhood pooches to shake loose their urban fleas. The trail you are walking on is actually on the school’s campus and is maintained by local residents. Take a look at the plants on the slope. The residents have also done a nice job of planting native trees throughout this section of the school yard. Follow the path around the perimeter fence to the north, then into the woods and across the foot bridge, through the thick forest canopy, and emerge onto SW Boundary St. Turn left (west) and walk to SW Dosch Rd where you will turn right. Be aware as you walk along Dosch as it is a busy street. Dosch takes two 90o turns. At the second one turn left onto SW 33rd Dr and follow it until it connects again with Boundary St. Turn right at Boundary St and follow it to an un-marked right-of-way on the right-hand side of the street that leads into Albert Kelly Park. You will bisect Albert Kelly park along paths that have been built and maintained by SWTrails volunteer workers. Note the crossing of Restoration Creek; during dry months, this crossing is manageable, however, as the stream increases its flow, it becomes nearly impassable. This is a future project for SWTrails to build a decent footbridge.
At the west end of Albert Kelly Park, make a slight right onto SW Mitchell St, followed by a left onto SW 35th Pl. You will be following the established route for Urban Trail #7. Turn right (north) at SW 39th Dr to pass the Fanno Creek Natural area on your left. Turn left at SW Lee St. Where it curves you will find a trail that continues straight onto an undeveloped right-of-way (ROW). The trail pops out on a gravel driveway on SW Admiral Ct (or S 43rd Av – conflicting information on maps); turn right and walk to SW Admiral St where you’ll take a left. Stay on the route for Trails 1&7. You will come to a ROW trail behind an apartment complex that leads to SW 45th Ave. Turn left (south) on 45th and follow it for about 1 mile. Just south of the Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy crossing note the series of steps and bridges. This is another example of the fine work that SWTrails volunteers have accomplished. Turn left when you reach SW Idaho Dr and follow the arced road to SW Vermont St. Cross Vermont at one of the newly-installed crosswalks, turn left then enter Gabriel Park.
There are several trails to get around Gabriel Park. The route selected for this hike is both scenic, and direct. It doesn’t matter how you get there; your target is SW 37th Ave and SW Nevada Ct. Exit Gabriel Park at Nevada Ct, and turn right (south) onto 37th Ave. Stay on 37th to SW Logan St; turn left. At SW 36th Ave turn left to SW Troy St and stay straight for a little over one block to Capitol Hwy. Proceed east (turn left) and pass through the heart of Multnomah Village; turn left onto SW 31st Ave. Follow 31st through three intersections and turn right onto SW Texas St. Stay on Texas for 4 blocks and take a short side-trip to explore the “Texas Wetlands” expansion project. This area will be getting a much-needed upgrade to its trail and drainage system. There are some interesting interpretive signs that give history of the project and the area. After you finish reading the signs, return to 26th where you will head north. The street reaches a dead end at a cul-de-sac, but the trail continues along the undeveloped ROW to SW Capitol Hwy. Turn right at Capitol Hwy and walk a short distance to the end of the Jewish Community Center on the opposite side of the street. Cross SW Capitol Hwy carefully at SW Vermont St and enter the SW 25th Ave ROW where you will walk north, adjacent to the Portland Jewish Academy. As you walk along the ROW take note of the native plants and pollinator gardens. Stay on 25th to SW Bertha Blvd (AKA Little Bertha) where you will come to yet another set of stairs constructed and maintained by SWTrails! At the top of the stairs you reach SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy at a protected crosswalk. Use caution crossing the highway and head uphill along 25th to the middle school where you began.
*To follow this route, use the Explorer for ArcGIS App to follow along. Simply Download the Explorer for ArcGIS app and touch here on any mobile device. The route is highlighted on an interactive map.
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