The Pacific NW is easily a mecca for hiking and outdoorsy activities. Portland is a great place to be because it’s easily accessible to so many gorgeous walks, hikes, lakes — you really can’t go wrong. Here are a few of my favorite hikes. Highly recommend tracking them in a (free!) app called AllTrails. I love it.
As a hiker, you cannot come to Portland and not visit Forest Park. I heard it’s the largest forest within city limits in all of the US. There’s hundreds of miles of trails. A couple we liked have been . Regardless of which you choose, it literally feels like you’re in the middle of a jungle at some points, even though you’re just feet away from the street.
This houses some iconic places like the zoo, the children’s museum, the Holocaust memorial, the rose garden (a must-see in last spring/early summer!), the Japanese garden (if you have a Bank of America credit card, you can get in for free on the first full weekend of the month), and more.
Technically, the arboretum is within Washington Park, but it warrants a call-out of its own. It’s kind of a mix between a regular arboretum with signs for each tree/flower and Forest Park. Again, there’s a ton of trails, so just pick one — you can’t go wrong.
This was our first major hike in the area and it’s worth the 75 min drive. On a good day with no wind, Mount Hood will reflect on the lake and be a perfect “mirror” image. So pretty. Parking can be tough, though, so I’d go early.
Multnomah is a really famous waterfall that you can see from the highway on your way to Hood River (another city worth driving to). If you want a serious sweat, hike the mile to the top. While it doesn’t sound like much, it’s literally straight up. One of the tougher hikes we’ve done.
If you’re out in the Western suburbs, I love this trail. I used to walk along it every single morning and it radiates calm.
This is a short and easy trail, perfect for the kiddos. Pair it with Old Salmon River Trail (next) for a full morning.
We randomly found this, but it’s a good one for a easy hike if you can’t make it to Mirror Lake.
Another West-suburb find. Probably one of my favorite places in the world. It’s like a miniature version of Forest Park where you feel like you’re the only one walking (if you go on the trails off the paved walkway). Perfect for a quiet morning with a friend. No pups, though!
While it’s more of a hill than a mountain, this has gorgeous views of the city. There’s plenty of places to walk around, a ton of stairs if that’s your thing, and a lot of times, I’ll see groups doing yoga on the grass.
Speaking of city views, another place to visit is Pittock Mansion. You can drive up to the top or hike in from Washington Park.
Council Crest is the highest point in Portland and, like Pittock Mansion, you can drive up via car or park toward the bottom and hike up. It’s worth a stop on a nice day just to see all 5 (I think?!) mountains.
For those who ask, this is where most of my Instagram photos are from. I just can’t get over how gorgeous it is here. Every time I go, I feel a sense of calm and serenity — highly recommended if you make it out to Hillsboro.
Save the best for last! Also in Hillsboro, this is probably my favorite “hike” (more of a walk) than any of them. It’s outside the city limits, meaning it’s automatically less crowded. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot an owl!