Portland is a walker’s paradise. From the wide sidewalks (and short blocks) of downtown, to the eclectic eastside neighborhoods of Belmont, Hawthorne, Alberta and Mississippi, to the stairways hidden among the West Hills, Portland is a great place to enjoy a good stroll.
Metro, the regional government, has put together a wonderful book called, Walk There! This guide does a great job of highlighting fun walks, whether you’re into exploring historic homes in Laurelhurst, walking to the top of Mt. Tabor or from Portland Heights to the Oregon Zoo. Put on some comfortable shoes and start walking — you’ll be surprised how easy Portland makes it.
Nature in the city
Portland offers hikers plenty of trails. At 5,100 acres, Forest Park boasts more than 80 miles of paths, including the Wildwood Trail, a National Recreation Trail which stretches for more than 30 miles, connecting historic Pittock Mansion, Hoyt Arboretum and the Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary. Along Portland’s southwest border lies Tryon Creek State Park, a 670-acre forest with a fully staffed nature center and a network of trails winding past trickling streams.
The Intertwine — the name for the Portland region’s interconnected system of parks, trails and natural spaces — provides a dynamic (and positively encyclopedic) list of outdoor excursions, making it easier than ever to plan your visit. Use the interactive trip planner for favorites such as Council Crest Park, Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and Reed College Canyon — or click on “Find an Adventure” to walk, hike, bike, bird or paddle your way around the area.
Columbia River Gorge
If you love hiking, it’s almost impossible to imagine a visit to Portland that doesn’t include a side trip to the Columbia River Gorge. From the iconic and accessible Multnomah Falls to its sisters Latourell, Wahclella, Shepperd’s Dell, Bridal Veil, Horsetail and Elowah, the gorge offers multiple trails to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, ranging from just yards, to six or more miles out from the various parking areas. If waterfalls aren’t your thing, then the breathtaking views from Angel’s Rest or Beacon Rock may sway you instead. Check out the Friends of Columbia Gorge website to help plan your trip.