• 2016.06.28
  • The outdoors
It’s no secret that Portlanders love being outdoors and hiking in the woods is one of their favorite activities, given the incredible number of beautiful trails available in town and in its outskirts.  Portland is a walker’s paradise, from the wide sidewalks (and short blocks) of its city center to the trendy and colorful Eastside neighborhoods to the stairways hidden among the West Hills, Portland is a great place to enjoy a good stroll, a hike or an urban run.

Forest Park, as the name announces, is a gorgeous lush park within minutes of downtown Portland.  Located in the city’s Northwestern neighborhood, this park covers 5,000 acres and it’s a protected wildlife area, home to over 100 species of birds and more than 50 mammals.
With over 100 kilometers of marked trails, Forest Park is a popular spot for runners, horseback riders, hikers, cyclists and dog owners who come here daily to enjoy the scenery and escape the urban lifestyle. The Wildwood trail is a local favorite and runs for 40 kilometers across the entire length of the park connecting the city to the Pittock Mansion, the Audobon Sanctuary and Washington Park, three popular attractions among visitors and Portlanders alike.

Photo 1
The Wildwood trail crosses Forest park

                                                   The Wildwood Trail, which snakes upward on wooded hills and crosses some creeks inhabited by tiny amphibians, ends up at the Pittock Mansion, a century-old mansion which used to be the home of newspaper tycoon, Sir Henry Pittock.  The Mansion features English style gardens and many Portlanders call it ‘Portland’s castle’ and come here regularly to enjoy gorgeous downtown views and relax.

One mile up the trail, you can find the moss-covered remains of a stone building and continuing straight on the same trail following the creek you can find picnic tables and a rest area, just before arriving at The Audobon Sanctuary.   The Sanctuary is open to members and visitors and offers an information center and a wildlife rehabilitation facility which hosts owls, hawks and smaller birds and which provides care for wounded and orphaned animals.  Many locals, tourists and groups of schoolchildren come here every month to learn more about the fauna of the park and to volunteer in the preservation of local wildlife.

Photo 2
Beautiful view of Mt. Hood from Forest park

                                                                                       Washington Park is part of Forest Park itself but it’s the portion of it which remains closer to the city center.   Washington Park includes the Oregon zoo, the International Rose Test Garden, two museums and a Japanese style garden.
Many local families visit the Oregon zoo weekly as there’s no bad time to visit: from concerts and kids camping events in the summer to Halloween and Christmas-themed nights during the colder months, Portland’s beloved zoo has something to offer in any season.

Photo 3
The Oregon Zoo is a popular attraction

                                                                                                    The Portland Children’s Museum and the World Forestry Center located in Washington Park are both hands-on educational museums dedicated to learning about recycling, environment preservation and animal protection.  They also offer a playground area with canopies, bridges and swings for some outdoor adventure.
The International Rose Test Garden is the oldest public rose garden in the USA.  The blooming season runs from June to late September and it’s a popular spot for marriage proposals, wedding photoshoots and romantic dates.
The Portland Japanese Garden has five unique landscaped areas (a pond, a teahouse, a natural garden, a moss garden and a stone garden) set among cherry trees and Japanese maples. 

Photo 4
The Rose Test Garden is a romantic spot for Portlanders

                                       Not far from Portland, only 20 minutes by car from the city, you can find the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, where there are dozens of waterfalls, more than 100 great hiking trails of all difficulty levels and amazing scenery.
  Locals come here during the weekend or whenever possible.  The Gorge’s trails are all completely free of charge and are all very well-maintained, making the Gorge a perfect getaway for hikers, families with children and pretty much anybody who likes nature.  From the iconic and easily accessible Multnomah Falls to other smaller but nonetheless breathtaking waterfalls, such as Bridal Veil and Horsetail, the Gorge offers some of the most beautiful falls in the world.  Some trails are more challenging and lead to higher viewpoints with breathtaking views of the river and the canyons, such as Angel’s Rest or Beacon Rock.

Photo 5
One of Columbia River Gorge’s waterfall  
Photo 6
View of the Columbia River Gorge from up high



  • Patrizia Margherita
  • AgeMonkey( SARU )
  • GenderFemale
  • Jobtranslator, editor, teacher

Patrizia lives between the USA and Italy and has deep roots in both places.She has traveled extensively all over the world and she has also spent 4 months in Japan, where she fell in love with Sakura trees and Takoyaki.She’s has been collecting recipes from her international friends and she’s now compiling a cookbook. She works as a translator and in her free time she likes to dance, hike and play with her cat.

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