7 best reading spots

These seven spots in West Linn are the best for an outdoor reading session. These locations are listed, not ranked.

While cases of COVID-19 continue to occur and the state of Oregon remains under orders to social distance, there’s a struggle to stay occupied as well as safe. These reading spots are ideal places to consider when leaving the house while sticking to social distancing guidelines.

        1. Fields Bridge Park 

Fields Bridge is a popular park off of Willamette Falls Drive that features a number of benches perfect for reading. One in particular provides a beautiful view of the river as it flows around a bend. This bench is just a short walk on a paved path from the parking lot. With a small patch of rapids ending just before this location, there is a soothing sound of running water to accompany a good read and though joggers or a few people on casual walks may occasionally pass by, it is a quiet place to read uninterrupted. The park is open 24/7 and has a maze of paths to enjoy. 

        2. Mary S Young State Park 

Well known state park Mary S Young, is highly frequented by all kinds of people. With tons of walking trails, sports fields and prime water access this is a perfect place for a good read. A short ways down the park’s main, paved walking path is a small clearing. At the end of a clearing sits a bench overlooking the river. There are three different seating choices here all with an equally impressive view. Seeing as this spot lies just about 30 feet off the main path there are a number of passer bys. This location is quiet and peaceful; a perfect place for reading. 

        3. Mclean House Trails 

The Mclean house is eighth on West Linns list of historical landmarks. This 1927 house is the hub for plenty of events like weddings and other social events. But the house isn’t what catches a reader’s attention. A small parking lot gives way to a path of gravel and bark chips that leads under the 205 bridge and down to the riverfront. A partially sand, partially rock beach lies about fives minutes away from the parking lot. This beach is rarely busy and with a small blanket to lay between your bottom and the sand this is a relatively secluded site. Ducks and geese also like to hang out here, so it’s not uncommon to receive a couple visitors. The buzz of the freeway is mostly muffled by the river flowing and the Willamette falls being just a little ways away. 

        4. Marylhurst Heights Park

This small neighborhood park isn’t very well known by people outside of the Marylhurst neighborhood. It has a small laboranthe, a water feature, a playground, two rentable structures, walking paths, a large open field, plenty of benches and picnic tables, and great views. Unfortunately right now due to COVID-19 the playground, and water features are closed off. The park is pretty quiet aside from the chatter of dog walkers and neighborhood dwellers and on a clear day it has a perfect view of Mt Saint Helens to the north and Mt Hood to the east. The view is this spot’s main attraction and it has two picnic tables directly facing Mount Saint Helens, making for an especially excellent reading experience. 

        5. White Oaks Savannah 

With a couple of access points, White Oaks Savannah is a convenient and easy spot right in the middle of town. On a hill of tall billowing grass spotted with purple flowers, two benches lie overlooking Old Town Willamette and the Willamette River. These benches among others in the White Oaks Savannah are accessible from Hall Ct or Tannler Dr. With a higher elevation, the view from these benches is incredible. This quiet spot is calm and private with plenty of benches and tables to read on. 

        6. Stevens Meadows 

Stevens Meadow Park is technically in Lake Oswego, but it’s only a couple of minutes out of town. This meadow features walking paths, benches and tables for reading, a wonderful country side view, and even the occasional paraglider. Tall grass covers the rolling hills of this park and at sundown the sunset is perfectly visible. 

        7. Burnside Park

This spot has the longest walk to get there, but still it should take under 10 minutes to get from the parking lot  to the river. This park has a long sandy beach that borders the Willamette River. There’s plenty of room to hang out while staying apart from the park’s other visitors . This river beach is sunny and dry with soft sand and it’s not usually too crowded. It is, however, a popular place to walk the dogs, so visitors of the K9 variety are not unlikely. A small island also lies about 20 feet across a slow moving channel of the river and a number of walking paths surround the beach providing lots opportunities to explore.