“This trail is mostly a straight uphill climb that offers great views and ample blackberries.”
— Forest Park Conservancy
Features: Birding — Fall Colors — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
This trail can be slick in the winter and overgrown with brambles for parts of the summer.
Exposed to the sun and fairly straight and steep, Firelane 4 is often overgrown in the summer and muddy in the winter. Still, it is worth a visit if only because it differs so much from the rest of Forest Park.
Built along a powerline corridor, Firelane 4 takes you straight up the hill, alongside tall flowing grasses, delicate flowers, and blackberry canes bent under the weight of their fruit. The forest in this area is dominated by deciduous big leaf maple and red alder, however, there is one lovely douglas fir tree about 3/4 of the way up that offers a nice, shady rest stop along the trail.
If working your way uphill on Firelane 4, remember to turn around periodically and catch a glimpse of the eastward view. Lower down on the trail you can get a clear view of the Willamette River, and the higher up you climb, the more you can see of North Portland on the other side. If the day is clear and not too hazy, you'll be able to catch a wonderful glimpse of the Cascade Mountain Range in the distance.
Flora & Fauna
Firelane 4 sees more sunlight than most other trails in Forest Park, which brings with it a wealth of sun-loving plants, both native and invasive. Trail-side vegetation is bursting with blackberries in the summertime and provides valuable habitat for resident and migratory birds, including the cedar waxwing.
The brush rabbits have been known to dart across your path between the thickets, and the coyotes leave their mark in the form of berry-full scat on the trail.