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Portland Hill Walks: Twenty Explorations in Parks and Neighborhoods Paperback – Illustrated, March 22, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press (March 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881926922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881926927
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #799,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A city of great vitality and natural beauty, Portland, Oregon, offers wonderful views and fascinating places that await discovery. From the city's countless parks to the fascinating character of individualized neighborhoods, the exciting terrain of Portland presents Foster with rich possibilities as she leads walkers around and through landscapes sure to keep even the most adventurous spirit happily engaged in exploration. Foster's format for each entry gives the starting point and distance for each of the book's 20 sojourns. More important, she describes the elevation along the way, making clear in advance how vigorous one might need to be. Driving directions and public-transportation information are included, with amenities such as restrooms, drinking fountains, food, and drink listed to help in planning a day's outing. Maps show the course of each walk, while Foster makes each entry come alive with historical background and keenly drawn observations. Alice Joyce
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Foster makes each entry come alive with historical background and keenly drawn observations."
—Alice Joyce, Booklist, April 4, 2005


"With Portland Hill Walks, you'll take 20 meandering, view-studded strolls from the city's forested canyons to its cityscape peaks ... This book is a great place to start if you are looking for a new walking location or are adding walking to your fitness regime."



“Anyone who loves Portland should own this book.”

More About the Author

Laura O. Foster writes about Portland, Oregon and the towns around it. In her books, readers take long walks into urban neighborhoods: through streetcar districts and parks, up and down stairways, beyond dead-ends, along river beaches, atop volcanic peaks and anywhere that a curious person would want to explore. She crafts routes designed to get urban walkers to places others often miss exploring, and her walks weaves geology, architecture, history, ethnobotany and horticulture into a story about each place. Every walk also passes through a local commercial district where coffee, beer, books, and other joys of urban exploring will be found. She designs her routes so that each one makes for a small urban holiday, good for locals and visitors too, who want to get beyond the tourist highlights of one of the nation's most walkable cities.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Martyn on June 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book could only be improved by more photos of the georgeous landscaping in and around Portland, Oregon. The cover shows four beautiful photos which the Amazon cover shot misses (you can hardly make them out), which is more than enough to whet the appetite.

Come in the spring and if the day is sunny you'll be moving to Portland. Not only the sights but the people will astound you. They're polite and helpful to strangers, unlike other cities I've visited. Here they'll offer you assistance before you need ask.

Food? Did someone say food? There's more local flavor here than you'd expect. That's an additional benefit of visiting neighborhoods on foot. You have time to stop and talk with local merchants. Many neighborhood eating establishments are listed, as well as suggestions if you should pack a picnic.

Laura Foster obviously loves Portland and knows it probably better than anyone. Having hiked, biked and walked Portland neighborhoods during my childhood, I too know the thrill of discovering a new hideout or short-cut. Some familiar paths are now overgrown, and windy hillside paths such as the one from Burnside Street to Washington Park had to be closed but there are countless others to be discovered.

Great gift book, for newcomers to Portland and anyone who's lived here for years but has never really gotten to know the city. Portland, Oregon is a treasure, and I personally want to thank Laura Foster for this wonderful book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Tubbs on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I walk/hike with two other women once a week. We have found no other book which does what this one does. It not only provides interesting walks acurately, but also covers the history, architecture and plants along the way. I can't say enough about how much we've enjoyed this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Anon a mouse on September 24, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My husband and I have recently begun walking at least 1/2 hour per day but have gotten the bug and often want to walk more. This book is an excellent resource. I've never seen one so thorough, combining history along with a route that is so clear a person would have to really try in order to get lost. The history notes are so fascinating (and I'm not in to history at all) and it divides the walk directions into numbered sections so you always feel like you're making headway. If you like to walk and you are in the Portland area, you really need this resource book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By GiGi on March 13, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. I have now done all 20 walks in it and will do all of them again. It's so much fun to see different parts of Portland, which you don't usually get to see. We are now doing the walks in her Stairs book and in her City Walks book.
We do do 2 walks in a row, since they are two short for our weekly walk (apx. 4 miles each). I will highly recommend the book. It doesn't matter if you are new in town or have lived here for years, as I have, you will learn a lot about your city.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gcat VINE VOICE on June 27, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've done about 18 of the 20 walks and I am frequently amazed by them. These walks take you into the nooks and crannies of the city that would likely surprise most long-time Portland natives.

The walks closer to center city (e.g. 2,4,5,8) expose you to steep urban stairs that you never knew were there. The walks farther out from the city (e.g. 6,10,15,17,19,20) force you into neighborhood niches that are mostly the dominion of local residents. Many of the walks weave in and out of urban and forest landscapes (1,2,4,6,13) creating a varied tapestry of calf-building experience.

Remarkable in its depth, the narrative frequently comments on historical trees and houses that you otherwise would have walked right by. This leads to the main negative of the book which is that the verbosity makes it difficult to read while walking. Directions are often buried within a long, descriptive paragraph.

Bullet-pointed directions would have been far preferable. Bigger maps with more street names would also have helped navigation. Another thing that would make the book more accessible is color pictures and lots of them. These walks point out so many amazing sights that it's a shame there are only a few scattered black and white photos. Overall, this book is still a great way to explore Portland.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Uilborina on August 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't write reviews very often, but this is the best guide book for Portland I've bought so far. I recently moved to Oregon and I was looking for a guide book that will let me explore different parts of the city and tell me something more about places than the regular "dry" guides. Laura Foster guides you through lesser-known paths, learning some history and geography along the way. The directions are always clear and right on the spot. I learned about why Oregon beaches are public, ginkgo plants, the history of the Willamette and the West Hills, and so much more. I can't thank her enough for the wonderful walks I did!
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