True Portland adventurers explore the great outdoors all year round, but there’s something extra-special about the first spring hike of the year. Enjoy gorgeous wildflowers, stellar bird watching and breathtaking scenery on these springtime rambles.
To challenge your legs with steep elevation gain on big switchbacks, try the Dogwood Trail in Forest Park, Portland’s own urban wilderness. This popular hiking route is also a hit with trail runners. It’s a 2-mile (3.2 km) jaunt to the end and back, or if you’re feeling extra adventurous, link up with the Leif Erikson and Wild Cherry Trails for the 8-mile (13 km) Wild Cherry Loop. Access the trailhead from Northwest 53rd Drive off Cornell Road. 5 miles (8 km) from downtown Portland.
Oak Island (really a peninsula, don’t be fooled) on Sauvie Island is the perfect place to get your ornithology on. The Oak Island Trail takes you on a 2.5-mile (4 km) loop through the heart of the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. Keen eyes can spot more than 250 species of birds waiting to be discovered, including raptors, woodpeckers and migrating songbirds. 19 miles (30 km) northwest of downtown Portland.
Wildwood Recreation Area
If you crave a hike on the wild side, then the Wildwood Recreation Area is the place to be. Located along the Mount Hood Scenic Byway, this 550-acre (223 ha) site is a fantastic place to take in the majesty of Oregon’s tallest peak, as well as a starting point for various beautiful hikes. Beginners can observe the scenic Salmon River along the 0.75-mile (1.2 km) Cascade Streamwatch Trail, while advanced hikers can take on the steep 4.7-mile (7.6 km) climb up the Boulder Ridge Trail into the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. 43 miles (69 km) southeast of downtown Portland.
Sauvie Island, the Manhattan-size isle is one of the largest river islands in the country just north of Portland, is where families can find an entire day’s worth of adventures with swimming, hiking, birding and local farms.
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.
Catherine Creek in the Columbia Gorge offers various hikes ideal for springtime. Visitors to the Catherine Creek Universal Access Trail will find breathtaking views of the Columbia River and Mount Hood, but the real treasures here are the wildflowers. Over 90 species of blossoms decorate the rich landscape of rock outcroppings, grasslands and oak forests. Choose between an easy .25-mile (.4 km) stroll to a scenic overlook and a moderately difficult 1.25-mile (2 km) loop to take in more sights. 72 miles (115 km) east of downtown Portland.
If you haven’t had your fill of flowers at Catherine Creek, visit Lacamas Park to take in the fields of blooming camas. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced outdoor adventurer, Lacamas Lake Park has a hike that’s right for you. The park is home to a diverse network of multipurpose trails for hiking and cycling. The Washougal River Greenway Trail is a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) boardwalk-lined trail that passes through 125 acres (51 ha) of scenery and crosses the Washougal on a 37-foot-tall (11 m) footbridge. For a more challenging hike, try the Lacamas Heritage Trail, a 3.5-mile (5.6 km) gravel trail that showcases rock formations and seasonal waterfalls. The neighboring Heritage Park provides the perfect spot for a post-hike picnic. 23 miles (37 km) northeast of downtown Portland.
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.
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.
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.
Winter Hikes in and Near Portland
Oregon’s great outdoors offers excellent adventures all year-round. Here are six Portland-area paths perfect for all-weather adventures.
Check out the incredible ParaNorman kid maze, designed by local Laika Studios. All proceeds support the regenerative farming practices on the farm. Over 130 acres on Sauvie Island, Topaz Farm is committed to no-spray, regenerative practices. Fresh local fruits and vegetables and delicious, seasonal farm foods such as house-made ice cream, grilled corn, hand pies,…
The Corn Maize, located on Sauvie Island north of Portland, offers visitors eight acres of physical and mental challenges in a cornfield.
This old-fashioned fall festival brings together more than 125 vendors offering local produce and food products, plus arts and crafts, wine, cider and beer tastings. Held along the scenic Hood River waterfront, this is the Columbia River Gorge’s biggest celebration of the region’s incredible fall bounty. Festival-goers can load up on boxes of Hood River…
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…
Lents International Farmers Market opens on Sunday, June 5, 2022, and is open every Sunday through November 20, 2020. The Lents International Farmers Market (LIFM) is the only one in Portland with an intentional international focus. LIFM provides fresh, affordable and culturally appropriate produce to the diverse community of Lents neighbors. Founded in 2006 by…
This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a watercourse.
Join in for this fun, family-friendly Halloween-themed event on Saturday, October 29th. Dress in costume and join in for a Half, 10k, or 5k run/walk. 2022 theme: retro video games. All distances will start and finish at the Milwaukie Elks Lodge and mostly run along the flat, fast and paved Trolley Trail. There is plenty…
Join the annual BrewLights, a ZooLights brew festival experience just for the 21-and-over crowd, with dozens of local beer vendors to sample. Enjoy local food carts and dance to live music. BrewLights tickets include a souvenir cup and ten beverage tastings throughout the zoo. Guests can sample over 100 beer, seltzer and cider options from…
Kids and adults agree: it wouldn’t be the holidays in Portland without a visit to ZooLights. In addition to the classic walk through a dazzling display of 1.5 million lights, you can bring your family and friends to explore the lights by car with a drive-through experience on select nights. Plus, enjoy delicious treats! From…
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