Mayor Baxter Woods

Mayor Baxter Woods

Portland parks officials want to require off-leash dogs to be on a leash at the popular Mayor Baxter Woods. This park on Stevens Avenue is the city’s largest undisturbed forested area.

“It will be kept in its natural wild state and as a bird sanctuary.” This 29.5-acre property is bordered by Forest Avenue, Hartley Street, and Stevens Avenue. Get more info.

The History

On a late summer day, Tarling parks his truck by a field beside Stevens Avenue, behind two granite pillars that mark an entrance to Baxter Woods. He’s talking about the park’s history, and he’s making an impassioned plea to keep it public.

Portland Mayor and canning magnate James Phinney Baxter devoted much of his life to keeping the 29.5 acres that border Forest Avenue, Hartley Street, and Stevens Avenue open for public recreation. He was not easily swayed, even when the city tried to use part of the property for road widening.

Baxter resisted the move, and he made it a point to ensure that his gift would be cherished for future generations. He wrote various restrictive covenants into the deed to ensure that his intent would be respected. One such provision was that the land should be used only for “public recreational and educational purposes.” He stipulated that horses, cars, or paved roads (except for city maintenance) were forbidden. He also specified that the woods could not be used for hunting.

The Park

The Park is a great place for dinner and drinks. The ambiance is really nice and the food is good. The service is also good. We will definitely go back!

The wide circle of clear ground added to the park as a space for children to run has been creatively utilized by Chinese immigrants as a place to dance. This slightly twisted utilization of park features speaks to the resourcefulness of these immigrants in their efforts to maintain and celebrate their cultural roots, while still feeling assimilated enough to live comfortably here.

Between 21st and 22nd Street, a portion of the old High Line rail track runs beneath dogwoods, asters, sedges, hollies, and bottlebrush buckeye, a spectacular botanical convergence between the urban and the natural. This area is accessible by the new spur at 10th Avenue, allowing pedestrians to experience a unique view of the High Line from below. Explore more!

The Trails

Designed to connect people to nature, trails provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and can improve health and quality of life. Inclusive trail design is important for promoting equitable access to the outdoors for individuals with diverse social, racial, and economic identities and abilities.

The oldest white oak at Baxter Woods (Stand Map, area F3) may date back to 1807. A red pine grove was planted in 1949 according to one resident, and the park has a mix of forest types that attract wildlife.

Forest age and structure are key determinants of wildlife habitat. Young forests of shrubs and saplings like this ash-hemlock forest type in Baxter Woods (Stand map, area F2) provide food for birds and support early successional species. Older forests of maple and sassafras provide cover for ground-nesting species and may attract birds such as eastern towhee and chestnut-sided warblers. The City should continue to manage the park to protect these habitat values.

The Forest Therapy Walkthrough

The woods have long held a place in our collective imagination, as a place of wisdom and healing. They’re where the Buddha attained enlightenment, St. Francis of Assisi preached to the birds, and Luke Skywalker did handstands with Yoda. And now, thanks to a growing movement called forest therapy, a hike in a wooded area can be a transformative experience.

Hughes Kraft, a Portland outdoorsman and health professional who became certified in forest therapy this year, believes the practice is “going to explode, much like yoga did.” Forest bathing, which is based on the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, involves slow walks through a forest with a guide and invitations to stop, look around, smell, and touch.

Join us for a 3-day course of immersion, guided walks, and hands-on learning to explore the emerging field of forest therapy. This mindfulness-based training will enable you to become a Forest Therapy Guide and offer others the opportunity for transformational experiences in nature that support healing, wellness, and a reconnection with the Earth. Check out this interesting post!



Driving directions from Pristine Exterior Cleaning to Mayor Baxter Woods

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