Off the Beaten Path in Oregon City

During this week’s hike, the sky straight up dumped water (and, briefly, hail) on me. An eerie cloak of fog settled over the landscape. While a clear day obviously would have been more enjoyable, discovering Hopkins Demonstration Forest was still a delight.

Hopkins Demonstration Forest is 140 acres of tranquility just outside of Oregon City. It is privately owned, but open to the public from dawn to dusk seven days a week. Schools and groups can also use the forest to learn about nature and forestry practices.

Location: Take Highway 213 just south of Carus and head east on Spangler road. When Spangler starts to curve left, turn right onto Brockway Road, following the signs for the parking lot.

Distance: The forest contains about five miles of trails. I stuck to the outer edge of the map (which I highly recommend since that takes you by the stream) and ended up walking a little more than three miles.

Pros: It takes a mere 20 minutes to get to Hopkins Demonstration Forest from Canby, but the trees and rushing stream drown out any surrounding noise and give you a sense of seclusion. The trails are well maintained and easy to navigate. Dogs are allowed (on a leash) and there are bathrooms.

Cons: I legitimately can’t think of any, unless an entire 5th grade class is there on a field trip while you’re trying to take a quiet walk. But shockingly (not), I had the place to myself on a rainy February afternoon.

So head to Hopkins the next time you need a quick getaway.

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