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Walking Portland: Sellwood and Oaks Park

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It may not be summer, but there is still plenty going on in the Sellwood District, Oaks Park and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Take a walk along the Springwater Corridor through this area, and you'll have views of the Willamette River, do a bit of birding and learn about some Oregon history. Article: Walking the Oaks Bottom Loop.

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Sellwood District
Sellwood-Moreland is a historic SE Portland neighborhood situated on a bluff overlooking the Willamette River. Sellwood was originally an independent city on the land of Reverend John Sellwood. In 1882 he sold the claim be developed. The town was annexed by the city of Portland in 1893.

Today, people enjoy the Sellwood District because of the historic homes, streets with quaint antique shops and restaurants. It is an ideal place to go to spend an afternoon. Sunset Article: A Day in the Sellwood District.

Be sure and see the Oaks Pioneer Church while you are in the neighborhood. Oaks Pioneer Church, originally St. John’s Episcopal Church, was built in 1851 and moved to the edge of Sellwood Park in 1961. It is the oldest intact church building in Oregon and is a popular place for weddings. The church is located at 455 S.E. Spokane Street.

You can reach the Sellwood District via the recently renovated Sellwood Bridge if you are coming from the west side of the river and downtown Portland.

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
This is an urban refuge accessible from the Springwater Corridor trail or from SE 7th Ave & Sellwood Blvd. It is a riverside wetland area. You'll often see hawks, quail, pintails, mallards, coots, woodpeckers, kestrels, and widgeons. Scores of great blue heron are found in the area because of its proximity to one of the rookeries on Ross Island.

A mural depicting the heron and other local birds was painted on the side of The Portland Mausoleum, visible from the refuge. Visit Portland Migratory Birds for more information on the types of birds you might see at the refuge.

Oaks Park
In the summer, Oaks Park is busy with picnics, family outings and amusements. Even in the winter, there is much to do there. The skating rink is open and it is fun to walk through the park and find some of the historic structures and architectural details.

Oaks Park was opened in 1905. It was constructed by the Oregon Water Power and Navigation Company along the Willamette River to increase ridership on the streetcar lines from Portland to Gresham, Estacada and Oregon City. More Oaks Park History.

The park still boasts the largest roller rink in the Pacific Northwest. Oaks Park Website

More Information
The Columbia River Walking Club maintains a self-guided route and maps at the Sellwood Columbia Sportswear Outlet on Tacoma St. in Sellwood.

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