Bridlemile & Vermont Hills
The Bridemile and Vermont Hills neighborhoods in southwest Portland fall north and south (respectively) of main thoroughfare Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. Bridlemile is situated south of the Southwest Hills and west of the Hillsdale neighborhood. Vermont Hills is the better known name for the Hayhurst and Maplewood neighborhoods. Families are attracted to this area for its quiet, residential streets, wonderful parks, and excellent schools. Restaurants and services are primarily located along the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. Albertson’s is the closest grocery store, but many more (such as Portland favorite New Seasons) are just a few miles down the road in neighboring Raleigh Hills. Gabriel Park is one of southwest Portland’s most popular park and recreation areas. The land was acquired by the city of Portland in 1950 for a mere $120,000. Its expansive 90 acres includes one of the best fenced/off-leash dog parks in Portland, recreation fields, picnic areas, walking paths, and a playground. There’s even a 10,000 square foot skatepark. Nearby, the Southwest Community Center is an indoor fitness extravaganza. Residents enjoy the 25-yard swimming pool, basketball courts, spa, and weight room. You can also hold birthday parties and other community events here. Bridlemile is a tranquil, forested neighborhood set in the hills. There are a few gated communities here, but the landscape primarily consists of single family homes built post World War II. There are few sidewalks and virtually no retail establishments within the neighborhood boundaries. The neighborhood association is dedicated to improving pedestrian safety and maintaining the many creeks that wind through parks and around homes. The average home price is just over $500,000. Homes here are considered desirable and prices have risen about 50% in the last five years. Over 70% of homes are owned versus rented. The schools of Bridlemile are rated as exceptional by the Oregon Department of Education. Wilcox Manor is one of the neighborhood’s notable landmarks; it’s the striking, grand mansion with rolling lawns located on SW 52nd Place. Wilcox Manor was the country home of Theodore Wilcox, a Portland banker who made his mark in the early 20th century. The residence was completed in 1917, just one year before Wilcox’s death. It remained in family hands until they sold it in the 1950s. After being transferred between private organizations and families many times over the next 40 years, this distinctive landmark was ultimately converted to condominiums. It was registered as a National Historic Landmark in 1993 and is open for public viewing once per year. Bridemile’s Hamilton Park contains 10 acres of paths and green space with a playground and recreation fields. 12-acre Albert Kelly Park has pleasant unpaved paths and picnic tables perfect for a spring or summer picnic. In 2002, neighborhood residents worked together to create the Bridlemile Open Space area at SW 58th and SW Hamilton. Vermont Hills is comprised of the Hayhurst and Maplewood neighborhoods in southwest Portland. The two neighborhoods share a considerable number of similarities, which is why they’re often grouped together. Both are close to the shops and restaurants of Multnomah Village. Hayhurst and Maplewood also contain many homes built during the 1950s and 1960s as well as recent infill homes. Maplewood’s desirability and prices have shot up considerably in the past five years. But, prices are still considered reasonable by Portland standards. The median home price falls at about $350,000. In the last five years, the neighborhood home values have appreciated nearly 80%. 85% of residences are owner-occupied and the schools range from strong to exceptional. Maplewood Elementary is a standout; it’s consistently rated as exceptional by the Oregon Department of Education. Public transportation is limited, so having a car is essential. Hayhurst’s median price is a bit higher than Maplewood and currently hovers around $380,000. Over 65% of homes are owned versus rented. This neighborhood too has seen a considerably increase in prices over the last five years, but not quite as much as Maplewood. The elementary, middle, and high schools that Hayhurst children attend range from strong to exceptional. Alpenrose Dairy is a favorite attraction and business in the Hayhurst neighborhood. This working dairy welcomes visitors to theirsouthwest Portland home for little league baseball, an annual Easter Egg hunt, and other seasonal events. Alpenrose’s Dairyville is a recreation of a western frontier town with shops, a doll museum, and an ice cream parlor. TriMet does provide some bus service to Bridlemile, Maplewood, and Hayhurst. But the vast majority of residents rely on personal vehicles for transportation. Freeway access to Highway 217, the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, and Interstate 5 connects residents to work, shopping, and other amenities.