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After long hiatus due to COVID-19 risks, hiking group resumes outdoor meetups

COURTESY PHOTO: SW TRAILS PDX - Hikers with SW Trails PDX gather at Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School before embarking on a group outing in June.The popular monthly group hikes put on by SW Trails PDX have returned.

On Saturday, June 12, during a timely break in the rainfall, 21 walkers and one well-behaved dog turned out at the Ida B. Wells High School parking lot to trek six miles together.

The last time the second Saturday group hike was held, the high school where it starts was still named for the 28th president of the United States. That was on March 14, 2020. For many, due to COVID-19 safety measures, that was the last large group outing they attended until the June 12 group hike. A few hikers wore masks, most did not.

"There's no need to wear a mask while hiking if you're fully vaccinated," announced SW Trails PDX hike coordinator Dave Manville. "We all know the drill. You guys have all got your pods for walking. Let's exercise good sense."

This first group hike in 15 months was pretty typical of what's again available for all walkers each month. The course included Albert Kelly and Gabriel Park, Stephens Creek Nature Park and the lunchtime disc golf course. The distance was six miles and elevation was 734 feet.

On the third Saturday of each month SW Trails PDX offers a shorter course with fewer hills called the Stroll and Coffee walk.

Anyone can show up on the north side of Ida B. Wells High School near the food carts on the second or third Saturday of the month to join the group hikes. All you have to do is sign in.

The second Saturday hike for July will be held on July 10. The five-mile route will head east from Hillsdale to the South Waterfront and return along part of the future route of the Red Electric Trail. The third Saturday Stroll and Coffee walk on July 17 heads north to Marquam Nature Park and covers 2.5 miles.

For more information on upcoming group hikes and joining SW Trails PDX, see swtrails.org

You can also find SW Trails PDX on Facebook.


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