This is the southern tip of the Tualatin mountains dominated by "The Awful Tower" of Healy Heights, that 500-plus-foot red and white finger pointing to the sky, which pierces our winter scud clouds or disappears altogether as the northwest ocean air masses flow over us. Actually the tower is an engineering marvel with some fascinating features. The outer three legs are filled part way up with concrete. The concrete has reinforcing steel just under the outer metal sheath making it an impressively stable structure. The central leg is a hollow tube inside of which is a ladder to the top running up its south side, a cable in the middle for the ladder-climber to attach his safety harness, and a gigantic coaxial pipe to guide the high power electromagnetic stuff to the 100-foot radiator on top. When that radiator is radiating, the power is sufficient to cook a ladder climber—if he ventures out onto the top level—in a few seconds. Many different signals are combined and transmitted through that big coax pipe which runs through a tunnel from the nearby transmitter building to the base of the tower. Other, smaller coax cables feed several other phased antennas that are sprinkled about the three outer legs; that's what gives the tower its thorny look. (Those antennas, too, turn a middle level of the tower into a microwave oven.) The memorial plaque at the base of the tower is a result of a tragic accident when a ladder climber failed to clip into that safety cable.
Forty Mile Trail enters the map at the northwest corner, cuts down across Sentinel Hill to Terwilliger, where it follows the Terwilliger bike path to George Himes Park. There it leaves Terwilliger and continues downhill on park paths to the end of Iowa Street. From there it follows streets to the Willamette Greenway Trail and goes south to cross Sellwood Bridge (on map B3). Forty-mile trail enters this map via two different routes: the lower alternative come up from Marquam Gulch about 50 yds below the big water tank a little above Gibbs Ave. It's behind the steel barrier and might be a little hard to find from the street. (It's well marked by signs on trees.) The upper alternative reaches Marquam Hill Rd just at the left edge of the map. Although it appears to cross Marquam Hill Rd, it does not. The trail on the south side of Marquam Hill Rd is an old road, part of an interesting system of roads crisscrossing the east side of Sentinel Hill. The 40-mi trail leaves Marquam Hill Rd to the south between the two alternatives from the north. Look for the sign at the north end of the steel barrier across from the water tank. From this point to Terwilliger is 1.07 miles through a woodsy area that for about 2/3 of its length is out of sight of buildings.
One of Portland's largest, recent land slides obliterated part of this trail in February, 1996. Water had found a way to get under the pavement on Council Crest Drive just south of McDonnel Terrace. The land gave way and began a debris flow down across Fairmount, funneling into the steep ravine where it occasionally dammed up the ravine with the trees it was carrying. The dams quickly broke out causing large pulses of debris which swept the gulch clean and eventually collected in the large depression next to Norris House on Terwilliger Blvd. Fairmount was closed to traffic by a 20-foot high mound of mud for several days, and Terwilliger was closed for about two weeks while crews cleaned up the mess at Norris House. Forty-mile trail was blocked by a gooey mess of mud which we crossed only with difficulty on a log that bridged the ravine. The goo gradually thickened, but several weeks went by before a clean-shoe crossing was possible. We hiked the entire flow path from Fairmount to Terwilliger about nine months later and found total devastation the entire route. A year later, foliage had grown over that mess, and today it's hard to tell anything had happened. Didn't we learn in geology that Nature does her land carving gradually and imperceptibly? It looks more like she does her work in occasional big bites and colossal fits: punctuated equilibrium!
At the tip of the Fairmount Blvd loop, the route from Terwilliger to Fairmount known to many runners as "The Death Run" (uphill, it gains 400 ft), ends on Mitchell St. Note the two alternatives: (1) Hessler and Northwood; and (2) Westwood and Menefee. The part of Northwood blocked to vehicular traffic was surfaced by volunteers (SW Trails group) in the spring of 1999 with the same material used (by the same group) the previous year for surfacing 18th Dr on the other side of the hill. This makes an unusually good trail surface. Note the interesting garden on the east corner of Northwood and Westwood. Just to the east of that garden the new Nature Conservancy property touches Westwood (look for the garden debris compost dump). A trail from here to the Marquam Trail below is under consideration.
Other outstanding connector trails include:
OHSU campus has many interesting and unusual trees: see Trees of Portland by Phyllis Reynolds for more information. Look for the birdhouse in the shape of one of the early hospital buildings. (It's near the helipad on Gaines St.) A sculpture on the front (east) deck of the Veteran's Administration Hospital seems to be a set of wind pipes (but they don't seem to sound off). On Veteran's Hospital Rd near the first turn above Terwilliger Blvd look for leaf prints in the concrete.
The Terwilliger Path (originally bike and running, but the runners and walkers overwhelmed its use, so now the bikes have their own lanes) is listed in one runner's guidebook as one of the finest in the country. It is. Mile zero is north of Map A3 at Sheridan St, next to Duniway Park. The lowest mile marker on A3 is "3/4" and is near Whitaker St. (The markers have been a white painted stripe in the middle of the path and a 5-inch stenciled number on the right as you travel south. They fade and are sometimes hard to find until they get repainted.) A bit above 1-3/4 look for three troublesome land slides. Two have had extensive stabilization work. The southernmost, however, defies man's puny attempts to control it: it is very, very slow, but very, very determined. Watch the cracks in the path's pavement: they get wider, and wider . . . and. . . ??
The Corbett Oak is on Corbett at Lane. This massive 250-year-old tree was scheduled to be felled for a fine new apartment building. Local residents said, "DON'T." The residents have prevailed, so far.
Slavin Road currently branches off of Corbett near Seymour (at I-5 undercrossing). It winds around an area of apartment houses and then ends at a dirt turnaround. Actually Slavin Road continues under the dense blackberry growth to the little bridge at Capitol Highway and Barbur. Behind (east of) the new Barbur Bike path you can find a piece of paved Slavin Rd. Slavin Road is, west of the little bridge, now Capitol Highway. Slavin road, before Capitol Highway, was the road leading up into what is now Hillsdale; then Slavin's farm and rock quarry.
The Lake Owsego Trolley line runs along the east side of A3. It currently starts near Montgomery St at Harbor Way in downtown Portland. You see it running along Moody St on the north part of this map, and then along the west side of Willamette Park.
Portland Parks Bureau parks include: