Tales From The Trails:

Giving Thanks: #OptOutside & Explore Forest Park This Black Friday

When REI announced #OptOutside for Black Friday and that its stores would be closed to encourage people to get outside instead of shop, the retail world was taken by surprise.

But during Thanksgiving weekend, what could be more fitting than to give thanks, enjoy and celebrate the beauty and wonder of natural world around us? That’s especially true if you’re in Portland and are fortunate enough to have Forest Park at your doorstep. An easy escape from the congestion and hustle and bustle of downtown, it’s a forested getaway filled with incredible trails and boundless outdoor recreational opportunities.

As a strong supporter of Forest Park and the Conservancy, we applaud and heartily endorse REI’s efforts to encourage more people to get outside this season. So, if you’re ready to join the movement and trade long checkout lines for long trails, and stress for serenity this Friday, consider exploring Forest Park. After all, with 80 miles to enjoy, there’s always something new to discover.

For example, you may want to consider exploring the trails off of Newton and Germantown Roads, which typically is a less crowded section of the Park especially this time of year. Located at the northern end of Forest Park, this well-maintained section of Wildwood trail is gentle and connects easily for a loop via Firelane 10 and the Cannon trail. 

You’ll see native ferns, a variety of fall mushrooms, plenty of big leaf and vine maple and giant Douglas firs. Keep your eyes open for woodpeckers and other birds that take shelter in this area for the winter.

Here's another hiking option we shared last year that you might also enjoy.  

Wherever you decide to walk the dog (on leash, of course), take a run or go for a stroll – there’s no better place to enjoy the peace and harmony of the season – and to give thanks to places like Forest Park. Need a map of Forest Park? Buy yours right here!  

Tell us if you explored Forest Park on #OptOutside this Black Friday and be sure to tag your photos on Twitter and Instagram with #ForestParkLove to share your amazing Park experiences with us.

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