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.
Escape the city without leaving Portland; with 70 miles of trails within Portland city limits, 5,156-acre Forest Park is a popular escape for runners, equestrians and hikers alike and supporting more than 112 bird and 62 mammal species.
Starting just 30 miles east of Portland, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area offers amazing vistas, trails and more than 90 waterfalls.
Famous for its abundance of picturesque waterfalls, Silver Falls State Park is the largest state park in Oregon at 9,200 acres (3723 hectares) and one of the most popular.
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.
Know Before You Go
Starting July 20, 2021, advance tickets are required in order to visit Multnomah Falls through September (tickets won’t be required if you shuttle or take a guided tour instead). Here is everything you need to know about how to book your tickets to Multnomah Falls.
Beginning Sept. 20, 2021, the Larch Mountain hiking trail near Multnomah Falls will be closed intermittently for 4–5 weeks for repairs. See the Forest Service website for more information.
Portland has numerous kid-friendly hiking spots with trails under 4 miles (6 km) close to the city and bursting with natural beauty.
Sunrise Hikes Near Portland
The secret is out: Oregon’s delivers some of the nation’s best hiking. Beat the crowds by heading out extra early to embark on a breathtaking sunrise hike.
Accessible Trails in and Near Portland
Portland and the Columbia River Gorge are filled with hiking opportunities for everybody, many of which have Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible trails.
Spring Hikes Near Portland
There’s something special about the first spring hike of the year. Enjoy wildflowers, bird watching and breathtaking scenery on these springtime rambles.
Fall Hikes Near Portland
These fall hikes near Portland prove that autumn is an ideal time to explore Oregon wilderness, admire seasonal flora and fauna, and visit nearby farms.
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