Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Fun Day: Forest Park

For this week's Monday Fun Day, Sadie and I hiked through Forest Park here in Portland.  The country's largest urban forest reserve is about 5100 acres and contains over 70 miles of hiking trails (thanks wikipedia!).  And it's 5 minutes from our front door. 

In the beginning, Sadie wasn't too jazzed about stopping to take pictures.  But I made her go my pace!

We did about a four mile loop, starting at the Ridge tail right across from the St Johns Bridge.

The St Johns Bridge connects NW Portland (where Forest Park is) to North Portland (where I live). 
 We got an early start and were on the trail by 8:30, prime time to enjoy the trail by ourselves.  My goal today, besides just having an awesome time being a girl with her dog in the woods, was to work on Sadie's leash skills in a setting where she's usually off-leash and can be Excita-bull (aka Crazy Sadie).  I thought this would be a good lead up to working on her water crazies.

She was pretty perfect the entire hike.  I used a front clip harness, which I swear is the best anti-pulling harness hands-down.  She is just calmer and more connected to me (attention-wise) than with the leash clipped to her collar.

The Ridge trail is a somewhat moderate climb.  We did about a mile on it before turning on the Wildwood Trail.  I was huffing & puffing a bit by the time we got to the second trail, which is an easier stroll through the forest (at least the section we hiked; Wildwood is 30 miles long).  It was another mile through slug-infested trail (I hurried) until we hit some maintenance roads.

Gross!  And they littered the trail.  Seriously gross!
Might the slugs have fallen from the trees?

I dropped her leash when we got to the maintenance roads and let her run a little ahead of me - she deserved it for being so great on the trail!

I love her ears in this shot!

It was back down the Ridge Trail and another shot of the St Johns Bridge through the foot-bridge railing.

The entire 2 hour hike we encountered only one group of people.  Unfortunately, they did have 3 small dogs and one of them didn't really like the head-on trail greeting with Sadie.  Big dog, little dog, mine on-leash, theirs off, narrow trail, etc.  We moved on quickly and it didn't really impact our hike.  I remember the days where an encounter like that might bring out Excita-bull for the rest of our hike but she chilled out pretty quickly. 

While I say Mission Accomplished, I also think we need to have a couple more of these chillaxed hikes under our belt before working our way up to a hike along a beach or lake.  She might be OK crossing a small stream - maybe next time!


  1. Well, I had to read the crazy water post and couldn't stop laughing!! Sounds like your trip in the woods was really great and the fact that Sadie stayed calm was a real bonus.

    I love those kind of moments, alone on the trail, just you and your dog. Those are the best!!

  2. @24 Paws of Love

    I'm glad you laughed. After I got over my frustration, I laughed too. She is just so darn happy about the water. But we are on our way to enjoying the water without the crazies! (I hope)