Portland’s Urban Escapes—Where to Go Hiking in the City

Don’t have time to make it out to the Gorge or the Oregon Coast? Here are four urban hiking spots that’ll have you in and out in just a few hours.

1. RIDGE TRAIL (Forest Park)

WHY IT’S AWESOME: One word: Proximity. Park near the west end of the St. John’s Bridge and make your way up a short flight of stairs. From there, you’re hooked up with one of the many veins of Forest Park. The Ridge Trail can be an out-and-back hike, or a start to an all-day outing in Forest Park.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING: “If you can find parking, the trail does provide an excellent departure point for an afternoon escape into the woods.” Tyson Gillard (Outdoor Project)


WHY IT’S AWESOME: Over nine miles of well-maintained trails through meadows and wooded areas make up Powell Butte. The park has paved, wheelchair-accessible paths, as well as gravel and dirt trails for biking, horseback riding and hiking.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING: “Powell Butte is my favorite! It offers fantastic volcano and mountain views, and is really beautiful in itself. I’ve seen deer and other wildlife, as well.” Ali G. (via Facebook)


WHY IT’S AWESOME: An ideal option for city-dwelling nature lovers and folks with kids in tow alike. This 3.8-mile loop is also a well-known destination for bird watching.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING: “Nice loop with 4 adults, 1 kid and 2 babies. Lots of wildlife: wood ducks, a heron, a bald eagle, and more! I much preferred the trail half in the woods. The stretch on the paved trail was a bit dicey with bikes zooming by and no real shoulder to step off to the side. Lots of roots and some mud on the trail, but my friend’s Bob stroller handled it just fine! Parked at the amusement park.”  Becky T. (AllTrails)

4. PITTOCK MANSION (via Lower Macleay & Wildwood Trail)

WHY IT’S AWESOME: File this one under “things to do when friends and family visit Portland.” This 5-mile round trip hike offers a wooded, forest experience just outside the heart of the city. On a clear and sunny day, you can’t beat the views of Mt. Hood from Pittock Mansion.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING: “I like it because it’s accessible, you get the experience in the forest, and then you also get to see the best view there is of Portland.” Ryan Y. (via Facebook)

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