One of the things that most surprised me about Portland was the presence of a volcano, making it one of only three cities in the U.S. with a volcano within city limits. Oh no! What if it erupts and wipes outs millions of vegan bike-riders?
Don’t worry, Mount Tabor is extinct, meaning it won’t erupt again – although I wonder how they can be so sure about that, since there are plenty of documented instances of supposedly dormant or extinct volcanoes erupting. It’s been 300,000 years since the cinder cones in Oregon had a lava flow, so I suppose we can safely say Mt. Tabor is not going to erupt.
Mt. Tabor in SE Portland has been turned into a park of the same name, with hiking trails, basketball and tennis courts, horseshoe pits and more. How many park signs have you seen with an arrow pointing towards the volcano? I love how nonchalant they are about it. It’s just another feature in the park. Picnic area… playground… volcano. No big deal!
Mount Tabor is a volcanic cinder cone and was named after the Mt. Tabor in Israel. Nobody even discovered there was an old volcano here until 1912, a year after the first park was established. The park covers 190 acres and the elevation is 636 feet, so it’s not super-tall, but it does provide nice views of downtown Portland.
They say this mountain is part of a network of cinder cones, but the lava field that created them has been extinct for 300,000 years. I guess I’ll take their word for it!
Near the top of the park sits an imposing statue, but it doesn’t honor a president or important historic or civil rights leader. Instead, the bronze statue depicts Harvey W. Scott, the editor of the Oregonian newspaper in the late 1800s. Journalists getting their own statues?!
The statue was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum in the early 1930s, while he was working on Mt. Rushmore at the same time.
I spent most of my time getting a taste of nature by hiking on the trails. It’s not easy to get lost here, with color-coded signs pointing the way and numerous trails that intersect.
The park has an off-leash area for dogs, so between the animal lovers and outdoor enthusiasts, it can be a pretty busy place. Mount Tabor Park is located at SE 60th Ave. and Salmon St. So why not spend an afternoon on an old volcano in Portland?