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Knowledgebase record #298


One City’s Wilderness by Marcy Cottrell Houle, 2010

Reviewed by: Brian Thompson
Review date: 2017-06-01

Urban forests are rare treasures, and one of the largest in the country is located nearby in Portland, Oregon. Forest Park encompasses over 5,000 acres of second growth forest left mostly to develop naturally since the park was established in 1948.

The third edition (2010) of One City’s Wilderness by Marcy Cottrell Houle, now available in the Miller Library, is an excellent introduction to the flora and fauna of Forest Park, along with its history, geology, and topography. Summaries of these topics form the introductory chapters, with highlights found in the extensive descriptions of 29 recommended hikes that follow.

The maps, elevation graphs, and finding aids for these hikes are top-notch. Even from my home in Seattle some 200 miles away, I enjoyed the narrative of these forest adventures located only a few minutes from downtown Portland. As author Houle concludes, “Forest Park’s pristine and natural features are what set it apart from all other city parks in the nation. No other urban park in the United States offers anything comparable in quantity or quality.”

Forest Park would be an excellent destination for your summer travels. I recommend reading this book to get the most enjoyment from your visit.

Published in the June 2017 Leaflet for Scolars.


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