Bushwhackers Wanted: Portland's Forest Park to the Pacific Ocean

Be the first to thru-hike an exploratory route from Portland to the Pacific.

Most Portland hikers are content with the 70 miles of developed trails in Forest Park. Not Jim Thayer. After five years of exploration, the 58-year-old BACKPACKER reader finished pioneering a 160-mile route from the park to the Pacific Ocean–without spending a contiguous mile on pavement.

It’s a zigzag of logging roads, trails, and a bit of bushwhacking for good measure.
Over the course of 200 Saturday mornings, he thwacked his way through more than 30 small watersheds, then determined which roads yielded a passage to other walkable paths leading west. Over time, he learned a wise tactic: “I bring rose pruners, which are small and cut brambles far better than any machete or hatchet.” Find more info at