The newest book from beloved Portland walking guidebook author Laura O. Foster is all about stairs! You'll love this book if you're planning a visit or move, or if you're an established resident looking to get out and explore some of the city's beautiful hidden pathways on foot.
With Portland Stair Walks as your guide, you'll have 18 urban adventures on foot (or even bike) with:
- 142 staircases
- 22 hidden paths
- 26 bridges
- 2 tunnels
- 1 island
- 1 floating sidewalk
- 1 aerial tram
- and several beaches
And you'll enjoy views of
- 2 rivers
- 16 river bridges
- 4 volcanos
- 3 creeks
- many city vistas
- and innumerable small details that make the city and its history come alive
The book contains two kinds of routes: 6 mapped stair walks, and 12 urban forages. Here's how Laura describes them:
Mapped Stair Walks
Spend a day being a tourist in Portland. Pick one of the six walks, from 3 to 6.5 miles and from 366 to 1,256 stairs. Each route starts with an area orientation, map and quick guide to directions. After this come more detailed directions interlaced with photos and stories. You’ll pick up nuggets about local geology, history, native trees, heritage trees or infrastructure, like that massive tower atop Healy Heights. The layers of backstory within a landscape are unpacked with enough detail to add to your stash of Portland lore, but not so much to turn this into a history book.
Urban Forages for More Stairs, Hidden Paths and Pedestrian Bridges
In this section are 12 more routes, from 2 to 17 miles. Some have just a few staircases, others have you climbing 800+ stairs. Several routes are good for biking (many urban staircases have gutters for bikes to roll on). Essentially, these forages use stairs, paths, bridges and tunnels as an excuse to go sniffing around the city’s folds and furrows. Along the way, you’ll find intriguing businesses and other fascinating places occupying their city niches, just waiting for curious walkers to find them. And food and drink, a sine qua non of every urban walk. Directions in this section are detailed enough to forego a map.
The book also contains information about getting to and from the walking routes by bike and transit, tons of photos, and a wealth of fascinating stories and side notes that'll make you fall in love with Portland.