Elk Rock Island
Welcome to Portland's second creepiest park (after Kelley Butte, of course). Marshy badlands surround an ancient woodland harboring an unnameable evil. Possibly. Personally, I wouldn't bring children here (again), unless they really liked climbing on rocks and weren't of a sensitive disposition.
hours of fun
All year / whatever.
- Riverbank setting.
- Rocks to climb on.
- There’s a small playground at the trailhead.
- Reminiscent of sets from bleak early eighties post nuclear dramas.
- Not far to travel if you have a body in the trunk.
- View of posh riverbank homes from opposing swamp makes it easy to romantically imagine oneself as one of the protagonists from Braveheart or A Clockwork Orange, or one of the antagonists from any film previously shown on MST3K.
- Not actually an island. Yes, that’s right, Google Maps! Even the official brochure states that “Elk Rock Island is connected to the mainland by a 40-million-year-old land bridge.”
- May unwittingly stumble upon a shallow grave or pagan ritual.
- It’s in Milwaukie.
- The trailhead parking lot is tiny and the surrounding area is plastered with no parking / tow-away warnings.
- Igneous bedrock makes deep burial of victims arduous.
- Did I mention this place is creepy?
Trailhead at 19th Avenue and Sparrow Street, Milwaukie [Google map]