Sellwood is the farthest south neighborhood on the east side. The Sellwood Bridge connects John's Landing to Sellwood, so it is easy to get into downtown SW Portland . The bridge is a really cool old concrete bridge- really narrow and picturesque- bike riders, joggers and walkers are always going across it. Starting under the bridge and going north is Oaks Bottom Wildlife Preserve- which is a long wide stretch of wetlands and beach that is teeming with wildlife. A trail goes along the river to Oaks Park- which has a carnival ride system, and an awesome roller rink-with wavy wood strips you can skate on. There is an off leash dog park too.
SE Bybee splits Sellwood and Westmoreland- and as it heads east it becomes a bridge to Eastmoreland- across the wide valley of RR tracks. There are only 3 ways to go east, across that area of tracks from Sellwood to Eastmoreland- You can take either SE Tacoma, SE Holgate, or SE Bybee. It's a good thing to remember when you are trying to get from the river to the Reed College area.
Sellwood is full of funky cottages, cute little bungalows, Craftsman with big front porches to sit on in the summer, and gorgeous restored Victorian homes- most setting on quiet tree lined streets. From Tacoma Rd , heading north, the residential area runs west into Sellwood Park- a big park that is set high above the river. As you continue going north, you run into Westmoreland There are lots of shops, cafes, restaurants, antique shops and other cool places to explore. As you get towards Westmoreland, the climate is a little more mainstream.-and the houses a little bit bigger- but the atmosphere isn't quite as unique, original and creative as Sellwood! There is a real neighborhood-community feel in Sellwood- with the community center, community pool, and the New Seasons Store. If I was going to live in the city, I would choose Sellwood- just because of the feel and proximity to the river!
One excursion I love is to take the trails all the way into Portland and back. Here is how you do it! Go across the Sellwood Bridge , along the river, and head north. You will come to my favorite park in all of Portland- Willamette Park . It is huge- there is a big boat launch, picnic areas, sports areas, trees and a trail that goes all the way into Portland- through the downtown along the river, past the big fountain-(which you can ride your bike through or run through on hot days!) and on through the city. You can continue on to the Steel Bridge- go across the river on the jogging bridge and ride back on the east Esplanade- which is a floating bridge that floats on the river all the way to the Hawthorne Bridge. Go across the Hawthorne Bridge , and go back along the trail to Willamette Park- and on to Sellwood! There are lots of restaurants and cafes you can stop at for a snack or drink. Then you can wade in the river on the way back.if you are hot! There are a couple of places that the trail breaks up- but will be completely finished soon.
There are 4 parks right in Sellwood, 3 of them are along the River- and a couple of more in Westmoreland- plus the beginning of the SpringWater Trail system which goes, (or will soon go!), from the Willamette River all the way out to Clackamas area and beyond. It connects to the Johnson Creek area, and will become part of the 40 mile loop of trails that go around Portland .
Sellwood Park is along 7 th , a few streets north of Tacoma . It is a beautiful woodsy area with grass that overlooks the lower parks along the river. If you live on the NW side of Sellwood, you can walk to the park and take the trail down to the river. It has a baseball field, basketball court, park restroom, picnic area, football field, paths, picnic tables, playground, soccer field, softball field and tennis courts.
Sellwood Riverfront Park is right down on the water, and has a boat dock, disabled access restroom, dog off-leash area, paved and unpaved paths, picnic tables, and an outdoor stage for concerts etc.
Oaks Pioneer Church is a small park on the edge of Sellwood Riverfront Park-It was built in 1851 and moved to the edge of Sellwood Park in 1961- and is now a National Historic Landmark where 400 weddings have been preformed.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife area has all kinds of birds- Hawks, eagles, quail, pintails, mallards, coots, woodpeckers, kestrels, widgeons and even the great blue heron can be seen standing at the edge of the water, looking into it's depths-suddenly grabbing a fish and swallowing it whole. You can look across the water and see downtown Portland and the Willamette Park .
Westmoreland Park Includes baseball field, basketball court - outdoor, disabled access restroom, football field, paths - paved, paths - unpaved, picnic site - picnic tables, playground, soccer field, softball field, statue or public art, tennis court - outdoor, and wading pool or water play feature. It has an interesting history. Hand-dug by residents during the Depression as part of federal job-making efforts, the concrete pond is consider to be one of only 2-3 manmade casting ponds in the USA. It is three feet deep, about 350 feet wide and 410 feet long. The pond opened in 1936 with an international fly-casting tournament. In 1940, the federal Works Progress Administration poured a concrete bottom. It was just redone in 2006 because it had drained.
Check out the Sellwood Web blog and learn more about the people
Trimet has plans to bring the Max-Street car out to Milwaukie- through Sellwood- in 2014.