Outdoors

Portland is the perfect launchpad for outdoor activities and adventure.

Home to a sprawling urban forest, dozens of verdant public parks, gorgeous gardens and a sparkling river running through the middle of the city, there’s never a shortage of ways to explore Portland’s outdoors. Whether you’re a fan of flowers, tranquil gardens, urban hikes or just looking to get some fresh air, Portland has something for every kind of outdoor enthusiast covered. Read on for our guides to getting outside, then head to our events calendar to find even more things to do outdoors in Portland.

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You’re currently viewing a page featuring a selection of events. To find even more things to do in Portland, visit our full calendar, which you can search by date and event type.

Parks and Gardens

Known as "The City of Roses," Portland is home to over 275 public parks and gardens.

Where to Walk

In addition to Portland’s many pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods, your feet can take you to some fantastic places around town.

Camping in and Near Portland

Immerse yourself in nature with a camping trip near the city.

Yurt Camping Near Portland

Yurt camping near Portland offers a midway point between primitive camping and glamping with electricity, heating, windows and wooden floors.

Camping Near Portland

To truly appreciate the wilds of the Pacific Northwest, spend a memorable night under the stars at these scenic campsites located within an easy drive from the city.

RV Parks in and Near Portland

Whether you’re craving a woodland adventure, an urban exploration or just a great roadside view as you travel cross-country in your RV, Portland has it all – along with comfortable and convenient locations to park or set up camp.

Top 5

Urban Walking Spots

Explore these verdant strolling destinations throughout the city.

  • Mt. Tabor Park

    This popular park features expansive views, picnic areas, natural-surface and paved paths, a dog off-leash area, a playground and a performance stage, plus tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.

  • Laurelhurst Park

    Surrounding a scenic lake, Laurelhurst Park was the first city park named to the National Register of Historic Places. It offers picnic and play areas, a dog off-leash area and a horseshoe pit, plus basketball, tennis and volleyball courts.

  • Washington Park

    Washington Park is one of the oldest, most popular parks in Portland. It features 15 miles of trails and more than 400 acres of trees, gardens, playgrounds and attractions.

  • Forest Park

    Portland's 5,200-acre urban forest, just minutes from the central city, stretches seven miles in length and contains more than 80 miles of trails.

  • The Grotto

    This clifftop site features 62 acres of lush gardens and dozens of intricately carved shrines. Built as a Catholic sanctuary in 1924, the Grotto welcomes over 300,000 visitors of all faiths each year and hosts an iconic Christmas celebration.

Outdoors Opportunities for People of Color in Portland

These five fantastic local organizations are helping people of every culture, race and ethnicity experience the Pacific Northwest's natural beauty.

Hiking in Portland

Get out and explore the many trails and nature areas within and near the city.

Explore Local Wildlife

Discover these wildlife natural areas and activities in Portland.

Wildlife Preserves

Experience nature not far from the city's hustle and bustle at these wildlife preserves.

Bird-Watching in Portland

Catch sight of 200+ types of birds at the Portland area's dozens of prime bird watching destinations, including sanctuaries, refuges and urban parks.

Audubon Society of Portland Nature Sanctuary

The Audubon Society of Portland Nature Sanctuary is a great starting place for hiking Forest Park and (of course) bird-watching.

Seasonal Outdoor Fun

All four seasons in Portland offer their own unique set of fun events and experiences.

Nearby

Columbia County

Bird-watch on Scappoose Bay, cruise around on a path or exploring the historic community of St. Helens – Columbia County offers countless family-friendly activities.

Water Sports and Adventure

From waterfalls to the Willamette River, Portland offers endless opportunities for aquatic adventure.

Upcoming Outdoor Events

Canceled
Chapman Swift Watch
Sept. 1–30, 2020

Chapman Swift Watch

Chapman Elementary School

Every September, spectators gather to see the world’s largest roost of Vaux’s swifts swarm and spiral into the chimney of a Northwest Portland school.

Canceled
Attractions
Fall
For Kids
Outdoors
Weird
Editor's Pick
Portland Marathon
Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020

Portland Marathon

Tom McCall Waterfront Park $99-$165

Taking runners along a loop of Portland along the east and west sides of the city’s Willamette River, the Portland Marathon is an excellent way to see a lot of Portland in one great run. The race starts and finishes at Waterfront Park, crossing four bridges and passing by some of the city’s most iconic…

Editor's Pick
Outdoors
Sports
Editor's Pick
West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta
Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

Lake of the Commons Free

This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a water course.

Editor's Pick
Events
Fall
For Kids
Halloween

High-Flying Fun West of Portland

This aerial obstacle course combines the childhood thrill of tree climbing with zip lines, rope and tire swings, trapezes, ladders and tightropes.