Touch Grass: Sellwood River Front Park

A little ways off from Reed, in the quaint neighborhood of Sellwood, lies Sellwood Riverfront Park, on the banks of the Willamette River. The roughly eight-acre park is made up of a large lawn, as well as paths along the river on a beach, all full of people walking dogs. The park is also located right near Oaks Amusement Park, with the bright colors of the rides poking out over the tree-lined shores. Sellwood itself is a great destination, with vibrant restaurants, making this park a great stop off on a longer trip away from the Reed campus, while getting a glimpse into local Portland life, as it is a favorite in the community.

Sellwood Riverfront Park is open from 5am to 12am daily, and per the website, it includes an “accessible restroom, picnic table, boat dock, riverfront views, dog off-leash area,” and paths, both paved and unpaved. The park also has multiple benches, and down by the water’s edge, a few convenient logs provide seating to take in the view. The park is a great way to feel completely separated from Reed, while still being close by. The open nature of it with the breathtaking view of the river creates an impressive and welcoming atmosphere. While a walk-through would be regenerating, sitting, or standing to just observe the water, the plants, and the beautiful buildings that can be seen around the river is a great experience in itself. According to the Outdoor Project website, it is also a great swimming spot, though it is too cold for that this time of year for most people. Instead, right now the fall leaves that can be seen coloring the landscape across the river are a striking addition.

Located a little over two miles away from campus the walk would be almost an hour, however the 19 bus cuts down some of that time, and in a car, it is only an eight minute drive. The park is a great place for some thoughtful reflection, as a moment of calm ensconced in a larger trip to the pleasant neighborhood of Sellwood, or to the amusement park, which is currently open on weekend evenings. It makes a destination in and of itself however with the stunning views of the Willamette; the perspective of sitting on the quiet shores at the park is so different from looking down on it atop one of Portland’s many busy bridges. To learn more about the park, visit its section on the parks website. So, go out and touch grass in Sellwood Riverfront Park!