Portland is known for being a fantastically green city and has gone to great lengths to provide many parks and trails throughout the surrounding area and right inside the city limits. You don’t have to travel to Mt. Hood or the Oregon Coast for fun hiking, instead, check out these city parks in Portland for some rugged natural beauty and refreshing exploration of the wild.
Forest Park is located right in the city limits of Portland (west of downtown, in the Tualitin area) and has over 5,000 acres of property enclosed in its boundaries. Trails cover parts of this popular park, including the 30 mile Wildwood Trail. Also in the park is part of a 40-mile loop, connecting Forest Park to other local trails routes in the region. The park is of historical significance to the city of Portland, with initial land for its founding donated by the Portland lawyer Frederick Van Voorhies Holmanin the 1890s. Forest Park is one of the largest forested parks in the city limits of a major city in the United States today and makes a great place to hike and explore over the summer months. The park is open from 5 am to 10 pm and is located in the area of NW 29th Ave & Upshur St to Newberry Rd in Portland, Oregon.
Kelley Point Park
Located at N Marine Dr & Lombard St, Kelley Point Park is named for the historic figure, Hall Jackson Kelley (1790-1874). This man was an early proponent of settling the Pacific NW, and embarked on several failed expeditions to the area. The park includes hiking trails, historical sites, paths both paved and unpaved, and a scenic vista point. Kelley Point Park is open from 6:00am-9:00pm. A kayak launch (basically a small beach) is located here, allowing interested boaters to reach the Columbia slough and other backwaters in the area. Hikes here shouldn’t take too long, as the park is not exceptionally large, but offer an enjoyable escape from the concrete jungle of downtown Portland, Oregon.
Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area
Check out this scenic park, at 5300 N Marine Drive in Portland, Oregon. It covers a little over 200 acres and has both paved and unpaved hiking trails. It consists of the largest protected wetland within an American city limits and has Smith Lake and Bybee Lake in it. A canoe launch is available and many different types of wildlife may be viewed here, including river otter, bald eagle, osprey and beavers. The park is fairly new when compared to Kelley and Forest, as it was acquired in the 1960s.