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.

Hiking in Portland

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

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.

Seasonal Outdoor Fun

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

Making the Outdoors Accessible to All

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

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.

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.

Water Sports and Adventure

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

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.

Upcoming Outdoor Events

Editor's Pick
Oregon Spring Cleanup
Apr. 10–25, 2021

Oregon Spring Cleanup

Various Locations

SOLVE is excited to launch a brand-new statewide event called the Oregon Spring Cleanup, presented by Portland General Electric. For over fifty years, SOLVE has been supporting the efforts of awesome partners and amazing volunteers from around the state who are motivated to take care of their special place in Oregon. There are dozens of…

Editor's Pick
For Kids
Outdoors
Editor's Pick
Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
Mar. 19–May 2, 2021

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm $5-$60

Colorful fields reminiscent of Holland burst with acres of tulips in full bloom at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn.

Editor's Pick
Attractions
Festivals
For Kids
Parks & Gardens
Spring
Editor's Pick
Earth Day Oregon in Forest Park
Saturday, Apr. 24, 2021

Earth Day Oregon in Forest Park

Forest Park Free

Forest Park Conservancy will be celebrating Earth Day Oregon this year on Saturday, April 24, and we’re inviting you to join! We will create small volunteer experiences for small groups spread throughout Forest Park. We will be planting native species and removing invasive species throughout Forest Park. Our goal is to provide fun, helpful ways…

Editor's Pick
Outdoors
Editor's Pick
Hippie Chick Half Marathon
Saturday, May 8, 2021

Hippie Chick Half Marathon

Ron Tonkin Field $15-$89

The Hippie Chick half marathon, quarter marathon, 5k and kid’s half-mile race returns in 2021 for Mother’s Day weekend! This female-focused event is designed to celebrate how amazing women are. Grab your mom, your sister, your friend, or your co-worker and register to run through Oregon’s scenic countryside. The route finishes back at Ron Tonkin…

Editor's Pick
Outdoors
Sports
Editor's Pick
Water Lantern Festival
Saturday, June 12, 2021

Water Lantern Festival

Laurelhurst Park Varies

Portland’s annual Water Lantern Festival is a beautiful experience where you’ll witness the magic of lanterns as they light up the water at Laurelhurst Park. This family-friendly event includes food trucks, pre-made floating lantern kits, markers, ascavenger hunt and more.

Editor's Pick
For Kids
Outdoors
Canceled
Festival of Balloons
June 25–27, 2021

Festival of Balloons

Cook Park Prices Vary

Hot-air balloons take flight mere minutes from downtown Portland every summer.

Canceled
Events
Festivals
Outdoors
Editor's Pick
Oregon Country Fair
July 9–11, 2021

Oregon Country Fair

Virtual Ticket Prices Vary

Oregon Country Fair will be hosting Fair in the Clouds: A Virtual Event from July 9-11, 2021. Please visit the event website for current information. Delight in the Oregon Coutnry Fair’s world class entertainment, handmade crafts, delectable foods, educational displays and magical surprises at every turn of the path. The Oregon Country Fair is nestled…

Editor's Pick
Festival
Outdoors
Editor's Pick
The Big Float
Saturday, July 10, 2021

The Big Float

Tom McCall Waterfront Park $5-$175

Every summer since 2011, thousands of people swim and float in the Willamette River for the annual Big Float event.

Editor's Pick
For Kids
Outdoors
Summer
Canceled
Bridge Pedal
Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021

Bridge Pedal

Multiple locations $35-$70

The Bridge Pedal is scheduled to return Aug. 8, 2021. Please visit the event website for current information. Portland’s annual Bridge Pedal is a community celebration of the city’s iconic bridges and biking culture. Join your friends and neighbors for the one opportunity each year to bike or walk on Portland’s car-free streets and bridges…

Canceled
For Kids
Outdoors
Editor's Pick
Hood to Coast
Aug. 27–28, 2021

Hood to Coast

Timberline Lodge

Hood to Coast is the world’s largest running relay race, stretching 200 miles from the top of Mount Hood to the Pacific Ocean in Seaside. The overnight event culminates in the West Coast’s largest beach party and draws more than 12,000 runners and walkers annually. The race fills up months in advance, but there’s no…

Editor's Pick
Health & Wellness
Outdoors

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.