Hike Distance: 9.0 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1496.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1067 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 197145 feet
A bit of a rough week for me and I was glad to be able to get out and hike. I wanted to hike a decent distance but didn’t want to drive very far. While Whipple Creek Park has plenty of trails it is difficult to get long distances here. I decided to add the Fairgrounds Park hike in order to gain that extra distance. It turns out that through a slightly convoluted set of connector trails it is possible to gain an extra 3+ miles (out and back) when hiking both parks.
From the parking lot I headed through Whipple Creek Park to the connector trail that will get me to Fairgrounds Park. I passed next to a stable and to a street crossing at NW 11th Avenue. I had to walk about 100 feet along 11th avenue to get to a fence opening that leads to a path across a natural area. I was surprised to see a couple of Praying Mantises in the open field in this area, and stopped to take some pictures. After a few tenths of a mile I entered a very nice forested area. Winding through the forested area trail I finally exited into the Fairgrounds Park asphalted trail.
There is a small loop trail around this park, and it passes an excellent children’s play area. I talked with a father for several minutes about the trail system around here, since he was curious about it, and had just moved here from Portland. After completing the loop I headed back the way I came and made it back to Whipple Creek Park.
Once I arrived back at Whipple Creek Park I proceeded to hike around the periphery in a clockwise direction. The trails weren’t crowded but I did see some people on horseback and there was also one group of runners that passed by. It was such a nice cool day and pleasant under the canopy. I’m sure glad I chose to come here today!