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Eastbank Esplanade

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Location: Portland waterfront (across the river from downtown)
Trails: 7 miles loop
Terrain: Paved paths and bridges for walking, biking, pets
Difficulty: Easy
Highlights: River, city, and bridge views, people watching

The Eastbank Esplanade is a pedestrian and bicycle path along the East side of the Willamette river, directly across from downtown Portland. The pathway spans from the Hawthorne Bridge north to the Steel Bridge, passing the Morrison and Burnside bridges. The path features convenient connections to pedestrian walkways over each bridge and therefore the Waterfront Park on the Westside. The path descends directly over the water at some points, and includes benches, docks/launch areas, and sculptures.

We went on the hike on a bright Saturday in February, and it was pretty packed. We started out at Waterfront Park, crossed over the Steel Bridge, headed south down the Esplanade, and re-crossed at the Hawthorne Bridge. Its not exactly a nature walk, but had great views of the river, bridges, and the downtown skyline. This is the best way to walk across some of Portland’s most famous bridges. If on foot, always be on the look out for bicyclists and of course always be on the lookout for cute dogs; there will be plenty!

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