There are numerous paths in Portland, Oregon, that can be enjoyed by hikers of varying skill levels. The city provides a variety of terrain that is ideal for hikers of all ages. This ranges from lush forests to breathtaking waterfalls. You’ll be taken on a tour of some of the most beautiful trails in the city by the end of this piece. This will also show you how beautiful the countryside is outside the city. It is a truly unique event! Read on to discover the best hiking trails in Portland, OR.
#1. Lower Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion Hike
One of the most emblematic urban hiking trails in Portland, OR, is the one that leads from Lower Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion. With a five-mile round trip, it leads hikers from busy city streets into a peaceful forest and to an important historical site in Portland. The Pittock Mansion parking lot and historic mansion are where the path comes to an end. Also, it where connects with the Wildwood Path and the Portland Audubon Society.
Built in 1914, the Pittock Mansion was acquired by the city in 1964 with significant help from the Portland populace. Pittock Mansion offers guided tours upon request. But even without a tour, Pittock Mansion is a worthwhile hiking location due to its impressive exterior and well-kept gardens.
#2. Forest Park Ridge Trail
This is also one of the best hiking trails to go for a walk in Portland, OR. Because it is convenient to the St. Johns Bridge and provides a picture-perfect view of the bridge, parking in St. Johns is a fantastic choice for this hike. From Southwest Portland up into North Portland, Forest Park is quite large. If you want to escape crowds, this is one of the best hikes in Portland. This is because the sections closest to downtown are typically much busier than the trails at the north end.
This route will take you 5 miles up the Ridge Trail before continuing past Leif Erikson and Wildwood. Follow this until you reach Ridge again, then take a right to get back to your vehicle. Turn left on Hardesty, then another left on Trillium.
#3. Blue Loop Trail, Mount Tabor Park
On Portland’s east side, Mount Tabor Park is a well-liked park with 200 acres and two water basins. The public area is covered by a network of trails. This includes the three-mile-long Blue Loop, which circles the park and both reservoirs. The route is a loop, and the favored counterclockwise direction of travel is indicated by blue arrows. The Red and Green Loop Trails at Mount Tabor are two additional approved hiking trails that provide a less strenuous route. Numerous trails pass by the recognizable landmarks that characterize Mount Tabor Park as well as the fantastic vistas of the metropolis to the west.
#4. Tryon Creek Triple Bridge Loop
Families, equestrian riders, runners, bird watchers, and birders all enjoy Tryon Creek State Park. It is well-known for its dense, shady evergreens, an abundance of ferns, and everything being coated in moss. It has 8 kilometers of trails. After a rainstorm, the path will become muddy, so wear sturdy shoes.
Moreover, on a nice Saturday, you’ll start to see cars lining up around 9 or 9:30 if the trailhead parking lot fills up. Alternatively, you can park along Terwilliger Boulevard if space is available. Take spur trails or stop by the newly renovated Nature Center, which has fascinating exhibits about the flora and fauna of the area, to extend your hike.
#5. Washington Park Loop Hike
Top Portland sites such as the Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose Test Garden, and Oregon Zoo are located in Washington Park, the city’s primary natural area. Using the beginning of the 30-plus-mile Wildwood Trail for a hiking loop is one of the best ways to experience the 400-acre park. It is advised to allow at least half a day to explore anything that captures your attention along this looped path, which is almost four miles long in total.
Additionally, a children’s museum, an archery range, and a variety of monuments and statues are just a few of the cultural highlights on the Washington Park Loop path that encourage a leisurely pace.
#6. Powell Butte Loop
Two 50 million-gallon concrete tanks are located beneath East Portland’s 600-acre Powell Butte Nature Reserve. It is the ideal place to hold water and use gravity to supply Portland’s mostly at-sea level residences and commercial buildings. Families, dogs, mountain bicyclists, and runners frequently visit the meadows and forested areas above.
Furthermore, Powell Butte is distinct from its surrounding parks full of tall, shady trees in that a large portion of it is exposed to the sun. The accessible trails make it perfect for dogs and kids, and there are some beautiful places to bring a picnic. Powell Butte Loop is without a doubt one of the most amazing hiking trails in Portland, OR.
#7. Maple Trail Loop, Forest Park
With more than 5,000 acres located within the northwest municipal limits of Portland, Forest Park is one of the nation’s biggest urban forests. It is close by and readily reached by public transportation, providing a true retreat from the nearby busy sidewalks and streets. Over 80 miles of paths, forest roads, and fire lanes are available for exploration, with the 30-plus-mile Wildwood Trail acting as the primary thoroughfare and frequent trail connector.
The 8.4-mile Maple Loop connects to the Maple Trail, Leif Erickson Trail, or Wildwood Trail to create a variable-distance loop with over 1,000 feet of elevation gain. A map or comprehensive reference manual is advised because the tall terrain gets denser as you go further.
#8. Mt. Tabor
The eastside park location of Mt. Tabor is located farther west and slightly north of Powell Butte, making it easier to reach from the center of Portland. For walkers, cyclists, and runners, it provides charming forested and paved paths, as well as playgrounds and off-leash dog parks. The entire park is accessed via a two-mile loop that is moderately challenging due to a few lengthy staircases but relatively simple overall. Lincoln Street offers places to park, and there is a large parking area right next to the amphitheater.
#9. Eagle Creek to Punch Bowl Falls, Columbia River Gorge
A famous hike in the Columbia River Gorge is the Eagle Creek Trail. Its construction dates back more than a century, and the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire is related to its most recent history. The path was reopened in 2021 after a lot of volunteer work, but some scars still exist. The majority of visitors choose the 4.2-mile round-trip hike to Punch Bowl Falls out of the 13.1 miles of the entire path. Along with steep drop-offs, the path features the well-known tunnel waterfall. A large portion of the trail leads to the creek.
Three parking lots are accessible, with the Cascade Salmon Hatchery nearby offering the most parking options. To guarantee a spot, it is better to get there early.
#10. Warrior Point (Sauvie Island)
Although Sauvie Island is officially part of Portland, getting to the end of the island by car and then walking the final 3.5 miles to the Warrior Point Lighthouse takes 40 minutes. Although this hike can be done year-round, the finest seasons for seeing blossoming flowers or changing leaves are spring and fall. Countless fields offer activities like picking berries or going to a pumpkin patch to round out the day.
You’ll enjoy solitude as you search for bald eagles, sea lions, or enormous ocean freighters. This is because the trek isn’t frequently too busy. A popular place to swim without wearing apparel is Collins Beach.
#11. Bluff Trail, Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
The wildlife refuge’s primary travel route is the Bluff Trail, and most excursions begin at Sellwood Riverside Park at the refuge’s southernmost point. The path travels north on a gentle grade through a variety of trees, offering excellent views and observation spots as it goes. One of Portland’s longest bike lanes, the Springwater Corridor, has a 2.3-mile circle that leads back to Sellwood Park.
#12. Latourell Falls
Latourell Falls is also one of the best hiking trails in Portland, OR. It is a 2.5-mile hike that is well-liked by families because of how simple, quick, and close it is to Portland. The 243-foot lower falls, which are divided into an upper and lower section, can be seen after a brief walk along a paved path from the parking area. On weekends, the parking lot fills up quickly, so attempt to arrive before 9:00 am to beat the crowds. The best time to come is in the spring or late fall after we’ve had a lot of rain because there won’t be much water in the summer. A good opportunity to see wood sorrel and trillium that have just sprouted is in the spring.
Is Portland Good for Hiking?
Portland, OR, is a wonderful place for hiking because it has easy access to the great outdoors. You can take short drives to explore alpine lake hikes close to Mount Hood and waterfall trails in the Columbia River Gorge. You also can enjoy urban walks and hiking trails in forested parks and lush gardens spread throughout the city.
What Is the Best Month to Visit Portland?
June to August is the ideal time to explore Portland because of the consistently warm weather that supports the city’s outdoor-oriented culture. Additionally, the city’s roses are in full bloom during the summer, particularly at the International Rose Test Garden.
How Many Days Are Enough to Visit Portland?
If you remain in (or close to) downtown Portland, you can see the majority of its top attractions in two to three days. We advise at least five days if you want to see Mount Hood, hike in the Columbia Gorge, explore the Oregon Coast, or learn about local culture by spending time in one of Portland’s many neighborhoods.