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Portland Hill Walks: Twenty Explorations in Parks and Neighborhoods Paperback – Illustrated, March 1, 2005

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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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.”
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated (March 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0881926922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0881926927
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.6 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #552,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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For two novice walkers (with very little stamina) looking for a bit of a challenge, this book is perfect. The directions are clear and separated into numbered sections which correspond to numbers on the maps. It's also full of interesting information about the neighborhoods and their history - a perfect excuse to stop a moment and catch our breath after particularly steep hill. The author also wrote Portland City Walks for those days when we're feeling a little more leisurely, and Portland Stair Walks, which I'm too intimidated to buy. We'll have to build up our stamina on the hill walks first!
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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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