Outdoor Activities

8 Washington Park
Just minutes from downtown, this park offers residents and visitors 130 acres of lawns and gardens, with trails that connect to Forest Park and the Pittock Mansion. The park is also home to the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, Vietnam Veteran's Memorial, International Rose Test Gardens, Japanese Garden, World Forestry Center and the Children's Museum. Additional park amenities include ball fields, lighted tennis courts, picnic areas, historical public statuary and fountains, a fully accessible children's playground, the Rose Garden Store and public restrooms. (503-823-7529)

7 Forest Park
Huge Forest Park, the country's largest urban forest located within a city, encompasses more than 5000 acres. It's filled with 40 miles of hiking and equestrian trails; runners have routes to follow as well. The park can be found on the eastern portion of the Northwest Hills and is only 10 minutes from downtown. The abundance of local flora and fauna allows you to truly appreciate the region's beauty. Very popular on weekends. (503-823-7529)

6 Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area
These two lakes and the land surrounding them comprise a wildlife park located just north of Portland. The 2000-acre site sits in the midst of an industrial area but invites visitors to hike, watch wildlife and listen to birds call amid an expansive natural refuge. Canoeing and fishing are available on Smith Lake, but Bybee is preserved as a wildlife habitat. Trails for biking and hiking criss-cross the area, and visitors often use them to relax and view the variety of creatures who inhabit the area, including deer, beaver, raptors and other species. (503-797-1850)

5 Council Crest Park
Named for the belief that Native Americans once met here in council, the park was also the location of a now-defunct amusement park in the early part of the century. Although getting to the site can be something of a challenge (you may want to consult a good city map), the pay-off is well worth it. The spot provides incredible views of the area around Portland from the city's highest point. From it, you can see Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Bachelor and Mount Rainier. Good walking trails are an added plus, and watching the sun rise or set from here is a popular pastime. (503-823-7529)

4 Multnomah Falls
Majestic and much-photographed, this Columbia River Gorge attraction is one of Oregon's biggest draws. Hiking trails lead up the face of the mountain, and a bridge crossing the waterfall offers an impressive vantage point. Legend has it that the falls were created to honor an Indian chieftain's daughter, who threw herself from the precipice to appease the gods and relieve the sickness that plagued her tribe. No matter its origin, visitors are constantly awed by the spectacle. The nearby Multnomah Falls Lodge provides refreshment and a resting place for weary hikers. (503-695-2376)

3 Winchester Bay Dune Buggy Adventures
Rent an all-terrain vehicle or sandboard to ride the dunes in Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. In season, you can also enjoy a waterfall and lakes or try your hand at kite-flying. A perfect opportunity for outdoor fun and adventure! Approximately 200 miles from Portland. (541-271-6972)

2 Columbia River Gorge
Much of the border between Oregon and Washington is formed by the Columbia River, the fourth-largest river in North America. Designated as a National Scenic Area, the Columbia River Gorge is known for its breathtaking scenery, including a multitude of waterfalls and the steeply rising hills on both sides of the river. Fittingly, the fall colors here are suitably dramatic. A healthy mix of conifers and hardwoods makes for a spectacular show of cool greens perfectly complemented by bright reds and oranges. Maple, cottonwood, ash, and oak are the species responsible for the multi-chromatic panorama. (800-984-6743)

1 Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
The Oregon Dunes reach 500 feet above sea level and make for a fun hike or all-terrain vehicle ride. Come hit the sand for a little recreation, or get in some great photos. You can also take advantage of water sports in the local streams and lakes. Approximately 200 miles from Portland. (541-750-7000)

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Maps and Directions

Washington Park 10Best List Arrow
Type: Outdoor Activities, Parks
Forest Park 10Best List Arrow
Type: Outdoor Activities, Parks
Neighborhood: West Hills
Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area 10Best List Arrow
Type: Outdoor Activities, Reserves, Sightseeing
Council Crest Park 10Best List Arrow
Type: Great Views, Outdoor Activities, Parks
Neighborhood: Downtown
Multnomah Falls 10Best List Arrow
Type: Great Views, Outdoor Activities, Sightseeing
Columbia River Gorge 10Best List Arrow
Type: Outdoor Activities
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area 10Best List Arrow
Type: Outdoor Activities, Parks, Water Sports