Get Outdoors & Fall Into Fitness

September and October often tend to be the best months to explore the outdoors here in the Northwest. It tends to not be too hot, or too cold, the rainy season hasn’t set in yet and the colors as the leaves change are absolutely spectacular!

Plus, the fall season often inspires people to ‘turn over a new leaf’ so to speak! Kids are back in school, summer holidays are over and we may be feeling the effect of too many BBQs and are ready to make our health and fitness a priority!

It’s also a great idea to dose up on some vitamin D now since we may be cooped up indoors for many months. There’s nothing like fresh mountain or ocean air and beautiful terrain to boost your energy and your immune system and we are fortunate enough to be so close to the Gorge, Mt. St. Helen’s, Mt. Hood and the Coast.

Sherri_Culchuk lake


Here’s some of my favorite local hikes that progress from easier to harder throughout the season. You can also explore local trails with minimal elevation but maximum scenery including Forest Park, Lacamas Lake & Round Lake Trail, Battle Ground Lake, Moulton Falls trail, Lewis River Park Trail, Discover/Burnt Bridge Trail, Waterfront Trail & Salmon Creek Trail…the options are endless!

  1. Beacon Rock 2 mile hike (Washington Side gorge)
  2. Mirror Lake 3 mile hike (Mt. Hood)
  3. Triple Falls & Horsetail Falls 4 mile loop (Oregon Side gorge)
  4. Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls 5 mile loop (Portland side gorge)
  5. Hamilton Mountain 9 mile loop (Washington Side gorge)
  6. Dog Mountain 8 mile hike (Washington side gorge)


We are fortunate enough to live in an area with various paved trails that allow for great cycling away from traffic including Salmon Creek Trail, Discover/Burnt Bridge Trail, Waterfront Trail, Marine Drive Trail (in Portland extending from 33rd to 205 Bridge), Spring Water Corridor in Portland, Waterfront Trail loop in downtown Portland (approx. 10 miles on paths) and Banks to Vernonia Paved Trail offers 42 miles round trips of scenic, paved trails away from traffic. I love biking, stopping for lunch or a coffee and making it a fun, social, active adventure.

haystackCoastal Adventures

Just a couple hour drive and you’ll be ready for a barefoot walk in the sand along the incredible Oregon coastline, a walking adventure through Ecola Park, a glorious hike up Saddle Mountain, Neah-kah-nie Mountain or take the trail from Seaside to Cannon Beach (one way with a cab back to your starting point or start on the southern side of Seaside, have lunch in Cannon Beach and then head back to your starting point).

That should keep you busy throughout the autumn months!  Enjoy the majestic views and take a moment to be thankful for what a beautiful area we live in even before Thanksgiving arrives!

Yours in health & fitness,
Sherri McMillan

Note:  As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started.  Contact 360.574.7292 for more details

GFRFC2015 Join us for the….
The 10th Annual Girlfriends Run for a Cure is a Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) and a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) designed specifically for women to get together to do something good for themselves and to help support a very important women’s cause.

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at

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