May 22 - 24, 2016 in Portland, Oregon

Write the Docs Hike

One of the organizers, Eric Holscher, knows a ton about hiking in the Portland area, and would love to show off a side of Portland visitors don’t often see.

Every year we have a conference hike, at this point it’s a fantastic tradition. We’ll be doing the same hike again this year, because it’s the best one easily accessible from downtown Portland.

It’s rained on us the past couple years, but I have faith it will be beautiful this year! We shall see Mount Hood at the top :)


You need a free ticket for this event. Space is limited, so that we don’t overrun the trails!

  • Date & Time: Leaves promptly at Saturday, May 21, 2 PM. Meet at 1:45.
  • Start: Lower Macleay Park or Macleay Park Entrance. There is a pavilion at the park entrance where we will gather.
  • End: Oregon Zoo – There is a MAX stop here to take us back downtown.
  • Visual of the hike

We will be hiking in the amazing Forest Park, the largest urban forested park in the country. It is conveniently located in Northwest Portland, not far from the conference venue. It’s about a 35 minute walk from the venue to the park, or you can take transit to make it a bit quicker.


The hike does not end where it starts. Take this into consideration with your planning. There is an out-and-back option if you choose to just go to Pittock Mansion, then return back down.

What to bring

May in Portland can be interesting. It will probably be in the 60s, with a chance of rain. So, please bring:

  • Comfortable shoes, that you are comfortable getting a bit muddy.
  • 1 Liter of water. There is water available halfway through the hike.
  • A light rain jacket. It won’t be cold, but it might drizzle on you.
  • High spirits!

The hike

The hike will be around 5 miles long, and have 1000 feet of elevation gain. This classifies as a moderate hike. We’ll be going nice and slow so people can appreciate the views and forest.


It will follow Balch Creek up from the entrance of Forest Park.

Balch Creek

Balch Creek


Then we will switchback through beautiful forest until we get to Pittock Mansion. Pittock affords one of the best views of the city, and hopefully Mt. Hood & Mt. St. Helens if it’s clear!

The view from Pittock Mansion

The view from Pittock Mansion


After this we will descend into Washington Park, and the beautiful Hoyt Arboretum. There are a number of paths through Hoyt, and we can play that by ear. More than 5,800 specimens from around the world grow here, including more than 1,100 species, which are valuable in reforesting damaged habitats.


On the other side of Hoyt is the Oregon Zoo, where we can take the MAX back to downtown. People who wish to stay around in the park or zoo are more than welcome.