This easily accessible in-town hike in Macleay Park features a charming creek, lush forest, and a victorian-era mansion with an expansive view of downtown Portland and Mount Hood.
Begin at the Lower Macleay Park Trailhead, and walk under the Thurman Street Bridge towards a red metal sculpture where the Lower Macleay Trail begins. As you approach the trailhead, notice on your left a very strange looking staggered arrangement of wooden walkways and fencing over the creekbed. This is the visual terminus of Balch Creek. It disappears under the huge grate apparatus - called a debris rack-and enters a tunnel where it travels several miles underground to an unnoticeable outlet near the shipping yards on the Willamette River. A rather humble ending to a very charming creek which you will see as you walk upstream.