Serene Revelations: A Walk through Cathedral Park

While working on my blog challenge, I decided to take a nature walk through the picturesque scene of Cathedral Park, found at N Edison St & Pittsburg Ave.

Located under St. Johns Bridge and directly next to the Willamette River, (Oregonian Pronunciation: Will-LAMB-et), Cathedral Park feels like a place miles away from civilization, despite being directly under a well-used bridge, and being next to a fairly thriving community.

What’s the secrets to the quiet surroundings? Take a look at these pictures and make your guesses:

Figure it out?

In my opinion, the height and placement of the bridge combined with the sounds of the river produce white noise that drowns out all surrounding city noises. Additionally, there are a fair amount of trees in the park, as well as everywhere near the river, which adds the sounds of wildlife. While walking through the park, I often heard the sounds of birds chirping and squirrels rustling in the bushes.

All of this creates the illusion of being far removed from the nearby urban jungle.

As a place to walk through, Cathedral Park provides an excellent setting for exercise, clearing your head, or just a pleasant stroll. Even though there are plenty of man-made structures all around you at Cathedral Park, (GIANT freaking bridge), surprisingly, everything blends in to the background. The bridge is painted a muted green color, the stonework of the bridge has been aged and looks like natural rock, and even the walking paths and benches are all done in earth tones that take nothing away from the surrounding landscape.

Many people come to the park with their dogs. There is plenty of room for dogs to run without intruding upon anyone else. The lack of loud city sounds probably puts less stress on the dogs.

If you have young children, there really aren’t any play structures in the area. If your children like running about, walking in nature, playing on the riverbed, and looking at a bridge, then you’ll be fine, but even then some children might get bored.

The bridge itself truly captivated me from the moment I pulled into the parking lot. Looking at the bridge feels like gazing at a stunning piece of art. The Gothic style architecture against the backdrop of the gorgeous hills of the Pacific Northwest produce a stunning visual to behold. No wonder that this bridge is known as the Gateway to the Portland Harbor.

Some interesting facts about the bridge include the following:

  • The spires stand at 409 feet above the river
  • St. Johns Bridge was opened in 1931
  • It’s known as “the largest and most significant suspension bridge in Oregon”*
  • The bridge weighs over 7,000 tons
  • From end-to-end, the length of the bridge with approaches is 3,834 feet (Almost ¾ of a mile!)

Within the city of Portland, there are 12 bridges. Each bridge offers its own unique character and view of the city. The St. Johns Bridge, standing high over Cathedral Park, keeps watch over this quiet haven. The park itself offers a tranquil space to rest before or after a visit to the man-made metropolis nearby.


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