7 best walks in Portland Oregon

Portland in Oregon, is a great city for exploring on foot. You don’t need wheels or public transport to get around this leafy green metropolis as there are many tracks and trails to explore more of the city. The city has urban walks, forested hikes, and strolls through beautiful blooming gardens. With over 279 parks and natural areas, you can easily escape to nature without leaving the city. From ambling downtown to rambling along the river, you’ll find something perfectly suited to your mood. Are you ready to lace up those boots and embrace the great outdoors? If you are looking for inspiration for your next stroll in Rose City, here are some of the best walks in Portland, Oregon.

Scenic walks in Portland, Oregon

1. Wildwood Trail

Tucked into the northwest corner of Portland, the Wildwood Trail is a National Recreation Trail. It weaves for more than 30 miles (48.3km) through the Tualatin Hills (aka, West Hills), from the Newberry Road Trailhead to the north and the Wildwood Trailhead near the Oregon Zoo. Historical and haunted Pittock Mansion is the highest point on the trail. The southern section of the Wildwood Trail passes through Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum.

best walks Portland Oregon

2. Powell Butte Nature Park

This park is spread over hundreds of acres and has more than nine miles of trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. The trails take you through the three different park habitats; open meadow, mature Douglas fir forest and oak savanna. Powell Butte is also an extinct cinder cone volcano, the largest extinct volcano in Portland. On a clear day, from the summit, you can see five peaks in the Cascade Range, from Mount Rainier in the north to Mount Jefferson in the south. As you walk, there are plenty of opportunities for wildlife spotting as the park is home to birds of prey, grey foxes, skunks, bats and mule deer.

best walks Portland Oregon

3. Hoyt Arboretum

At the Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park, you can walk leisurely among 2,300 species of trees and shrubs from six continents. You have 21 trails from which to choose, covering 12 miles (19.3 km). Some 2 miles (3.2 km) of trails are suitable for strollers and wheelchair users, and those with reduced mobility.

best things to do in portland oregon

4. The Portland International Rose Test Garden

If you’re a fan of flowers, take a walk around the Portland International Rose Test Garden which is located in Washington Park. This horticultural haven is also historical as it is the oldest official continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States. The garden blooms with over 10,000 individual rose bushes from late May through to October. There are over 610 different rose varieties on display here.

best things to do in portland oregon

5. Mt. Tabor Park

Mt. Tabor Park has a walking route to suit most abilities, from paved paths to rugged, natural-terrain trails. These walking routes take you through the beautiful evergreen forest and to the top of a 636-foot (194 metres) extinct cinder cone volcano. From here, you can enjoy stunning views of the Portland skyline. If you are feeling energetic, the Blue Trail Loop is the most challenging and rewarding hike. This route takes you to each of the three huge reservoirs and up to the summit.

best walks in Portland

6. Macleay Park

Macleay Park in Northwest Portland is a wild oasis close to the city centre. The park has deep ravines shaded by large Douglas-fir trees and western red cedar trees. There are many places of interest in the park, including the ruins of Stone House, known to Portlanders as the “Witch’s House”. You can make your way up to Pittock Mansion from the park. The park has seven looped trails, which vary in difficulty and length but all take you into the forest and through different neighbourhoods.

best walks Portland Oregon
By Finetooth – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

7. Forest Park

Forest Park is located a mere 10 minutes’ drive from downtown. It is the only virgin forest in the United States within the confines of city limits. Verdant and lush, 80 miles of accessible tracks and trails take you through the park. It is a haven for walkers and wildlife. Forest Park stretches for more than seven miles along the eastern slope of the Tualatin Mountains, and there are some beautiful views, especially of the Colombia and Willamette rivers.

Melanie May

Melanie is an intrepid solo traveller, endlessly curious about people, places and food. She is a fan of slow travel and loves exploring the world by mouth, discovering a culture through its food. Having backpacked her way around the world she turned her wanderlust into a career and is now a full-time travel writer.

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