The Park Loop follows the pupular Wildwood Trail for most of its distance, and connects with several other trails that criss-cross the park. The Wildwood Trail extends into Forest Park, where it's lightly traveled, but the southern end with the Loop Trail overlaying it can be very crowded. The Loop Trail's other connections include the paths that lead to the various memorials, the arboretum, rose garden and the Oregon Zoo. Some of it passes through the now unused old zoo which was dismantled, but left behind interesting artifacts such as the Bear Pit and furtastic Elephant House. The Elephant House is just that: a wall-and-ceiling home that looked exactly like a human house, built for the old zoo's Rosy, its first Asian Elephant, who joined the zoo in 1959. Much of the house remains today although the elephants have moved.
Walking through the Washington Park forest is a lesson in botanical science. Its trees include the giant Douglas Firs, Big Leaf Maple, and plentiful beeches. Thimbleberry bushes and English Ivy are prolific, too, and need to be cut back often. Birds and small animals like rabbits and squirrels are omnipresent in the trees and underbrush, and will keep the fur-pup's senses busy with their antics! Be sure to bring water to share, and clean up bags for the journey.
When your 2-hour hike is finished, be sure to lead Fido over to one of the picnic areas for a snack, rest or even a meal. The 500-foot climb up to the ridge overlooking the Archery Range will have made you both super hungry!