Hogan Butte Nature Park

Hogan Butte Nature Park just opened to the public last weekend. It’s always good to have a new park in town – and this one has a great view. There are views of all of the nearby mountains. I believe the day we went we saw Mount St Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood, but on a clear day you could see Mount Rainier and Mount Jefferson as well.

 

Mt Hood in the distance

Mt Hood in the distance

 

There is quite a steep hill from the smaller lower parking lot to the top of the hill, but there is also a drop off area at the top and a few handicap parking spaces at the top.

 

A place to rest

A place to rest

 

At this point, there weren’t a lot of wildflowers, but I did see some sweet peas. And it sounds like there are more wildflowers in the spring and early summer. Some of the maple trees along the path were newly planted and haven’t gotten fully root bound yet, so the leaves are already dying. And there was grass seed, but still no grass on the ground yet. But I’m sure by spring the trees will be just fine and the grass will be growing and the flowers all blooming and it will be just beautiful. Just keep in mind if you go visit that it is a ‘new’ park. The view from the park is awesome is amazing, though!

 

Sweet Peas

Sweet Peas

 

What I didn’t realize until they opened the park was that Gresham is one of the few cities to have extinct volcanoes right within city limits. And Hogan Butte sits right on top of an inactive volcano’s vent. Whoa! Mind blown. I always knew we were situated in ‘the ring of fire’ living in the Portland metro area, but to have an inactive volcano right in my home town is a bit disturbing, to say the least. I always figured if any of the big volcanoes surrounding us blew their tops, we were far enough away from them all that all we’d get would be ash and smoke in the air. I’m just going to have to hope that since the buttes in Gresham are much smaller than all of the bigger inactive volcanoes, perhaps they are less likely to get set off than the bigger ones.

 

View of Mt Hood from the lookout area on Hogan Butte

View of Mt Hood from the lookout area on Hogan Butte

 

Pattern on the picnic table

Pattern on the picnic table

 

The city began acquiring the land for this park back in 1990. A few years back they also purchased the historic house at the base of the hill near the parking lot as well. The house was built in 1928 and was once a Prohibition-era speakeasy.

 

Green shed

Green moss covered shed

 

I spoke with a lady whose sister was the last person to own the house. She said the city had been trying to purchase it from her sister for years and then she finally gave in and sold it to them a few years ago. It has been renovated since being built, but there is still an old fashioned double wide cast iron stove in the kitchen. At this point the house isn’t open to the public. My son and I may have walked all the way around the house peeking in the windows. Not saying we did that, just saying we may have done that. Ha. No one lives in the house at this time.

 

Apples!

Apples!

 

The old house at the bottom of the hill

The old house at the bottom of the hill

 

If you’re in the Gresham area, definitely check this park out. The view is worth it!

 

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Gresham Butte – a city hike

Not sure what I was thinking Gresham Butte was like when I decided to head up there with my son after church a couple of Sundays ago. I guess I was thinking it was just an overlook of the city and mountains nearby. Ha! There was an overlook area where you could look out across the Columbia River towards Washington and see Mt. St. Helens in the distance, but really, there is a big wilderness area you can hike through as well.

So here I was dressed in cutesy little patent leather loafers rather than hiking boots or tennis shoes as pictured in my last post, totally unprepared for a small city hike. I found myself walking slightly on my tip toes part of the way up the path when my shoes started rubbing on my heels. …At least I was wearing flats.

I had my good camera with me, but no additional lenses and was quite disappointed I couldn’t capture the woodpeckers we saw along the way in my photos because I didn’t have a telephoto lens with me.

At the top, there were just some funny tree stumps and a water tower. I was feeling disappointed at that, too. But, my son had been on this hike before and told me that if you took the path to the left, you’d run into an old bus. So, off we went. And, the old bus was not a disappointment! It looked like an old food cart with a side open window. I thought it could have been a fine craft services cart back in it’s hey day. (For those of you not familiar with that term. On a set, they always have a craft services area set up somewhere. Sadly, there are never any crafts at these carts. But – there are always snacks and drinks for the extras and crew!)

I would definitely do this hike again. In tennis shoes.  Just for the awesome old bus on the path out in the middle of nowhere.  I’m surprised I live so close to it and have never hiked on this trail before. Yeah to adventures close to home!

 

The path to adventure, at Gresham Butte

The path to adventure at Gresham Butte

 

Funny old tree

Funny old tree

 

Hatched

Hatched

 

Rusty old bus

Rusty old bus

 

Fungi

Fungi

 

Graffiti

Graffiti

 

Wild flowers with a dandelion companion

Wild flowers with a dandelion companion

 

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