Marshall Park is embedded within the West Portland Park neighborhood in SW Portland, that, along with the nearby Maricara Natural Area, seems like an extension of Tryon Creek State Park. Marshall Park is in a canyon, that, according to the Portland Parks & Recreation website, is “a natural drainage basin formed by the west slope of the Palatine Hills, the hills northwest of Mt Sylvania, and by Tryon Creek that runs through it.” From where you park you walk into a large open area where a playground once stood (there is a coordinated effort through the Friends of Marshall Park to restore a playground here, focusing on nature play), and from there various hiking trails can be found. Like Tryon Creek, this is a place to go if you like immersing yourself within a world of trees, ferns, and moss.
We previously visited this park on a cold winter day in January 2011. We were headed somewhere else nearby, but had some time to spare, so met up with some friends at the park. They live in the neighborhood, so were able to just walk from their home. Unlike the previous visit, with winter coats and chattering teeth, my son wore shorts and sandals while his friend went barefoot. We had lunch at a picnic table in the open area, and let the boys play in the creek near the stone bridge. Birds chirped as the sun poked through the trees.
Patrick’s friend brought along a good book to read, too!
I originally wrote parts of this as an Adventure for The Intertwine, here.