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.
Soft Hiking in Portland
A collection of accessible soft hikes perfect for leisurely strolls, low-impact exercise and lots of meandering dilly-dallying.
Winter Walks in Portland
Trade muddy trails for winter walks along the smooth, paved walkways of Portland's parks, then treat yourself to a warm mug of coffee or tea.
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.
The 4T trail is a self-guided tour that lets you explore the city — and see some of the best views — without a car.
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.
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.
Making the Outdoors Accessible to All
Visitors of all cultures, races, ethnicities and identities should feel comfortable basking in the magnificent natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, it’s not always so simple. Luckily, several fantastic organizations exist to help all people explore the great outdoors in and around Portland.
Friends on Bikes
Founded by Filipina cyclocross racer Gritchelle Fallesgon and Korean-born cyclist Molly Sugar, Friends on Bikes diversifies the cycling scene by connecting and hosting rides for women and non-binary people of color. Launched in 2017, this Portland-based group organizes monthly all-levels social rides, as well as “bike-packing” trips, workshops and happy hours. Follow Friends on Bikes on Facebook for details about upcoming rides and inspirational posts celebrating cyclists of color.
Latino Outdoors PDX
Dedicated to inspiring, connecting and engaging Latino communities in the outdoors, Latino Outdoors PDX organizes events and showcases how conservation roots have been ingrained in Latino cultura for generations.
PDX Climbers of Color
Through outings, skill session, and climb nights at local rock climbing gyms, PDX Climbers of Color levels the playing field by eliminating the social and economic roadblocks that typically make the sport inaccessible.
People of Color Outdoors
Portland’s Pamela Slaughter, the founder of the nonprofit People Of Color Outdoors creates safe and welcoming ways for Black, Indigenous and people of color to enjoy nature in and around Portland while learning about nature and the environment. Their educational events aim to create a safe space for those who have felt marginalized or even harassed while enjoying the outdoors.
Portland POC Hikes
Portland POC Hikes is a hiking group specifically for Black, Indigenous and people of color. Join their private Facebook group to learn about upcoming events.
Jorge Guzman immigrated to the United States from Mexico when he was 12 years old. However, he didn’t feel a strong connection to Oregon until he began surfing and snowboarding. Inspired by his experiences, Guzman founded Vive NW, a nonprofit organization that connects local Latinx communities with the great outdoors. The group hosts a wide range of dynamic events, including hikes, ski lessons, stand-up paddle boarding and snowshoeing excursions.
Wild Diversity provides safe and welcoming opportunities for people of color, low-income youth and those in the LGTBQ+ community to experience outdoor adventures. Events include all-level hikes and multi-day and backpacking trips. The group even offers scholarships for those who can’t afford the costs.
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.
Spend Spring Break in Portland
Plan an epic spring break in Portland with our list of activities for families, friends, couples and solo travelers.
Best Spots for Spring Flowers
Find your favorite blooms, from roses to rhododendrons and tulips to trilliums, with our guide to spring flowers in Portland.
Portland Picnic Guide
Nothing beats spreading out a picnic blanket on a sunny day, and Portland has no shortage of delicious grab-and-go eats and scenic spots for a feast.
Portland’s Best Spots for Fall Color
Autumnal beauty abounds in Portland, and there are plenty of prime places to revel in leaf-crunching relaxation.
Apple Picking Near Portland
Freshly-picked Pacific Northwest apples are a local favorite, and many Portland-area orchards allow visitors to pluck the fruit right off the branch.
Outdoor Clothing and Gear
The great outdoors isn’t just a way of life for Portlanders, it’s also big business for local brands. For example, since its 1938 founding, Portland-based Columbia Sportswear has shielded adventurers from the elements with fishing vests and hats. Today, with the bug-repelling fabrics and wind- water- and cold-blocking garments available at Columbia Sportswear Flagship Store, they stay true to their tradition of pushing outdoor sports further.
Similarly, whether it’s on the track, turf or trail, Nike, based in nearby Beaverton, has powered athletes with sneakers, sportswear and a “just do it” attitude since 1964. The company has many local spots for gearing up, including Nike Portland, their downtown retail flagship that’s also a museum of the brand’s cutting-edge designs.
As an alternative outdoor store selling both new and used products, Next Adventure has launched the passions of many paddlers, climbers, snowboarders and even disc golfers, with an avid staff that puts their products to the test in the company’s own kayak and outdoor schools. Nearby, Seattle-based evo opened its second location in Portland’s historic Salvation Army building in fall 2014, where it offers more than 150 ski, snowboard, wakeboard, skate, surf and bike brands.
For timeless styles, the wares available at the Filson flagship store in the Pearl District will keep you warm and dry for decades. That kind of rugged, well-hewn quality is important since their coats and creels are the kinds of things that you can hand down to your children. Likewise, the merino wool goods from New Zealand-based Icebreaker will last a long time. Offering items ranging from base layers to neckties, the international company has made its U.S. headquarters in Portland, which offers the perfect city, climate and customers to put their gear to the test.
Where to Stand-Up Paddleboard Around Portland
Find out where to stand-up paddleboard in Portland, as well as where to find SUP lessons, paddleboard rentals, guided lake tours and SUP yoga classes.
Make a Splash in the Willamette River
When summertime heats up in Portland, cooling off is as easy as heading to one of the city's many riverfront beaches or docks for a refreshing dip or getting the gear for water sports such as kayaking, or SUP.
Swimming Holes Near Portland
Stay cool all summer long at these serene swimming spots, surrounded by the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest — and all less than an hour away from Portland.
Waterfalls Near Portland
Some of the most picturesque waterfalls line the Columbia River Gorge, just a short drive from Portland. But these cascading natural wonders are even closer to Portland from the Willamette River to the Cascade Mountain Range.
Whitewater Rafting Near Portland
Conquer rapids, spot wildlife and experience nature in a new way at these favorite spots for whitewater rafting near Portland.
Year-round on Saturdays, the Hollywood Farmers Markets hosts 50+ vendors, bringing you the best of the region’s agricultural bounty. In addition to amazingly fresh, local food, you’ll find live music, children’s activities, and fun events throughout the season. April through September, every Saturday 8 AM to 1 PM,October and November, every Saturday 9 AM to…
Showcasing the best of downtown Portland, the Shamrock Run will celebrate 46 years of running on St. Patrick's Day 2024. Portland’s longest running tradition features multiple distances ranging from the one-mile Leprechaun Lap for kids. All races start and finish at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, offering sweeping views of Portland’s skyline, Willamette River waterfront, and…
The 2024 St. Patrick's Day Parade returns live and in person. Not only Irish eyes will be smilin'. The parade starts at 1:00 p.m. sharp at Fernwood/Cleary School (NE 33rd and Hancock)
Colorful fields reminiscent of Holland burst with acres of tulips in full bloom at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn.
The Worst Day of the Year Ride is a costumed bike ride benefiting the Community Cycling Center. On Sunday, March 24 — regardless of the weather — grab your friends, don your costume, and jump on your bike to honor this historically terrific day. After scoffing at the elements, participants return to the Lucky Labrador…
Welcome spring with outdoor lawn games, magic shows, animal encounters and more at Hop into Spring. Hop into Spring is a celebration of the spring season geared toward the 10-and-under crowd. Free with zoo admission.
Starting in 1986, First Thursday in the Pearl is a district-wide celebration on the first Thursday of each month. Originally a gathering of art collectors and dealers, the celebration has grown to a monthly event of over ten thousand people, including art enthusiasts, wine aficionados, and scenesters looking to see and be seen. Art galleries…
Welcome back Spring. The Annual Trillium Festival at Tryon Creek State Natural Area is an educational event for the whole community that celebrates the season of renewal in the forest and beyond. For 44 years, Friends of Tryon Creek has celebrated the return of the Trillium, an early-season perennial native to our local forests. This…
SOLVE is excited to invite you to our statewide event this April, the Oregon Spring Cleanup, presented by Portland General Electric. For over fifty years, SOLVE has been supporting the efforts of community leaders around the state who are motivated to take care of their special place in Oregon. This event has its roots in the…
The Early Blooming Rhododendron Show returns to Crystal Springs. Presented by the Portland Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society, this show focuses on rhododendron species and hybrid plants that are among the first to bloom. Note: This show is being presented on the second Saturday in April, rather than the first as in years past….
The iconic Bridge to Brews race returns in 2024 At Waterfront Park, join the annual 8k and 10k walk/run over 4 of Portland’s iconic Bridges. After the race, there will be a beer/cider-tasting event on the waterfront. Sip on some of Portland’s best beer and cider while enjoying live music, games, and goodies from local…
The St. Johns Bizarre is a uniquely crafted celebration that kicks off Portland's summer street fair season. Held annually on the second Saturday in May, the Bizarre brings music, crafts, and food to the crowds who traditionally attended the St. Johns Parade. After the parade, a portion of the business district in St. Johns is…
The Mt. Tabor Art Walk is a Portland tradition. This juried show and sale is a great opportunity to see quality visual art and meet artists in their studios and homes. Diverse media are represented, including photography, painting, ceramics, sculpture, prints, metal arts, photography, glass, jewelry, book arts and mosaics. The Mt. Tabor Art Walk…
Considered the "hub" of the annual Portland Rose Festival, CityFair fills Waterfront Park with carnival rides, concerts, food and fireworks for multiple weekends during the festival.
With acts that have ranged from Al Green to ZZ Top, McMenamins Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn are an annual rite of summer and the hottest ticket in town.
A classic Rose Festival event and family-friendly community tradition dating back to 1973, the Milk Carton Boat Race is a spectacle you won’t want to miss. Children and adults race and show off their handmade, human-powered boats that float only employing recycled milk cartons and jugs. Creatively constructed watercraft will compete in nine categories, with…
Bustling North Mississippi Avenue closes down for a day of food, vendors, music and fun at Portland's largest street fair, Mississippi Street Fair. This year the fair will have the following: Three Music StagesKids ZoneGrandfathers Rib-Off CompetitionHundreds Of VendorsShopping and Dining
This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a watercourse.
Just north of Portland's Belmont neighborhood sits Laurelhurst Park, one of the city's most scenic escapes with over 300 trees, a duck pond and an array of free public events.
Leach Botanical Garden
Walk through verdant treetops and breathe in the scent of a four-season pollinator garden in this urban oasis in SE Portland.
Hoyt Arboretum: Portland’s Museum of Trees
Hoyt Arboretum is Portland’s “living museum of trees” — and is home to 2,300 species of trees and shrubs, as well as 12 miles (19.3 km) of hiking trails in Washington Park near downtown Portland.
Beyond picnics and verdant strolls, Washington Park offers up a zoo, two museums, a spectacular rose garden, an arboretum, one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in the world, all lined by one of the largest urban forests, Forest Park.
Lan Su Chinese Garden
This year-round wonder houses an authentic Ming Dynasty-style garden built by Suzhou artisans, offering a peaceful escape in Portland's historic Chinatown.
Mount Tabor Park
Mount Tabor Park, a century-old public space, is known for its open-air reservoirs, forested hiking trails, sunset picnics, epic city views, its annual Adult Soapbox Derby, and, yes, its volcanic cinder cone.
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden
Round out your floral explorations of the Rose City with a visit to Southeast Portland’s lush Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. The park boasts more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, with blooms from late February -June.
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.
Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Hugging the Willamette River in downtown Portland, this once bustling highway now offers a strollable, bikeable and dog-walkable public park with historical and cultural monuments, and kid-friendly fun.
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