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 NW 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 Mt. Hood Scenic Byway, this 550-acre (223 hectare) site is a fantastic place to take in the majesty of Oregon’s tallest peak, as well as a starting point for a variety of 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.
Families can find an entire day’s worth of adventures on this island just northwest of 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.
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 a variety of 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 0.25-mile (0.4 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 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 hectares) 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 m) 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, many of which have Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible portions.
Favorite Hiking Spots in Portland
Put on some comfortable shoes and start walking — you’ll be surprised how easy Portland makes it.
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.
Portland has numerous kid-friendly hiking spots with trails under 4 miles (6 km) close to the city and bursting with natural beauty.
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.
For more than 30 years, the Festival of Flowers at Pioneer Courthouse Square (in the heart of downtown Portland) has been one of city’s most renowned festivals. Every year, the Square works with a local artist or design firm to create a masterpiece of vibrant color utilizing more than 24,000 flowers and plant material, filling…
EVENT POSTPONED. Please visit the event website for current information. The Rose Festival is proud to host the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races, an event that has been bringing an exciting Chinese tradition to Portland for more than two decades, beginning in 1989. Held on the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge, the races…
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.
Hot-air balloons take flight mere minutes from downtown Portland every summer.
UPDATE: The June Sunday Parkways event will be digital-only due to the coronavirus pandemic. See the Facebook events page for details. Join Sunday Parkways in this 9.5-mile loop of North Portland, which will pass by Arbor Lodge Park, Peninsula Park & Rose Garden, Kenton Park, McCoy Park and Columbia Annex. An accessible ride (by EveryOne…
The annual Harefest music festival in Canby presents the Northwest’s best tribute bands performing on three stages over two days. The Harefest experience has been described by many attendees and performers as “adult summer camp” not only for the fun-loving, good-natured attendees, but also because of its rustic location and tent camping around the festival…
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 in a wooded setting 13 miles west of Eugene, Ore., and offers an other-worldly path ambience, parades and more. The Oregon Country Fair creates events…
Every summer since 2011, thousands of people swim and float in the Willamette River for the annual Big Float event.
The annual Northwest String Summit celebrates Bluegrass, roots, and Americana sounds during its multi-day festival in North Plains, Oregon. Visit their website early to purchase tickets, as they usually sell out fast.
Oregon Northwest Merfest is a festival for the entire family that brings awareness to conservation with a fun “under the sea” theme. Join Oregon Mermaids for a day of mermaids, pirates, sea-themed entertainers, puppet shows and ocean-themed yoga. Oregon Mermaids impart their love of the briny deep, its wildlife, the ocean beaches and conservation information…
Head to Gateway in Northeast Portland for Sunday Parkways’ 4.8-mile loop of the neighborhood. One of the shorter routes of the summer, Gateway’s Sunday Parkways is a great option for families and friends who want to walk (instead of bike) at the event. Parks along the route include Hazelwood Hydro Park, Gateway Discovery Park, Knott…
THE 2020 EVENT IS CANCELED. 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…
The PDX Adult Soapbox Derby at Mt. Tabor Park pits grown-up kids against each other every August in pursuit of speed and laughs.
Sunday Parkways heads to the historic North Park Blocks forit s 7-mile route along Portland’s Green Loop. This ride will pass by multiple cultural hotspots, including the Portland Art Museum, North and South Park Blocks, Lovejoy Fountain, Portland State University and the city’s Central Eastside. To view the complete route (and find more rides), visit…
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…
Portland’s annual Dahlia Festival is a must-see for the dahlia lover, or if you just love flowers. View over 400 floral arrangements of dahlias and over 15,000 cut dahlia blooms on display in the three indoor display rooms. This is the largest display put on by one grower anywhere in the United States. The annual…
Join family, friends and neighbors to celebrate life together. The River Lantern Lighting brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one memorable night to celebrate community in Portland, Oregon. Every participant gets a lantern, candle, marker, beer or cider (over 21), snacks and live music.
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.
Enjoy Portland’s annual Dragon Boat Festival, featuring dragon boat racing along with food vendors, a beer garden and more. The event features as many as 96 dragon boat teams from all over the world who race in Taiwan-style dragon boats.
The Portland Classic is the longest-running stop on the LPGA tour, and 2020 marks its 49th year. Watch world-class women golfers who are “keeping Portland diverse, legendary, strong and powerful.”
Come out and enjoy the last Sunday Parkways of the season with this 7.6-mile ride in Northeast Portland! Enjoy the walking/biking boulevard of Ainsworth along with the neighborhood greenways of Going street, Holman street and Alberta Court. Parks along this route include Alberta Park, Woodlawn Park, Fernhill Park and Khunamokwst Park. To view the complete…
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…
This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a water course.