Portland Outdoor Adventures + Things to Do
Portland is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a blend of urban and natural beauty. Washington Park presents a sprawling green expanse with trails weaving through gardens and cultural attractions. Pittock Bird Sanctuary is a birdwatcher's paradise nestled within a lush, forested setting. Meanwhile, Marquam Park captivates hikers with its pristine trails, native wildlife, and sweeping views of the cityscape below.
Portland’s Washington Park houses a dazzling variety of outdoor experiences in itself. Stop to smell 10,000 roses in the International Rose Test Garden overlooking the city, get lost in the Japanese Garden, test your archery skills and more.
Drive Time: 7 minutes
Explore four miles of trails maintained by the Audubon Society of Portland. Dotted with resting spots and composed of short, easy trails, this is a great spot to stop if you’re traveling with kids or just want a brief jaunt into nature.
Drive Time: 14 minutes
Lush with foliage, Marquam Nature Park is an oasis of green space on the outskirts of the city. The park includes a portion of the Marquam Trail, which weaves 40 miles between Willamette Park and Washington Park – but you can also hop on for a 6.3-mile loop hike.
Drive Time: 8 minutes
Portland Outdoor Adventures Worth the Drive
Oregon's diverse landscapes are a visual feast for travelers. Mt Hood National Forest stands majestically with its snow-capped peaks, dense forests, and serene lakes. The Oregon Coast stretches with miles of rugged cliffs, sandy beaches, and quaint coastal towns. Meanwhile, the Columbia River Gorge showcases breathtaking waterfalls, steep canyons, and panoramic vistas, making each location a must-visit for sightseers.
Year-round recreation awaits at Mt. Hood National Forest – from quick trail walks to mountain climbing adventures. When Northwest locals ask if you saw Mt. Hood on your trip, you can let them know you did more than glimpse the peak from the city.
Drive Time: 45 minutes
Offering everything from the iconic Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach to nostalgic arcade games in Lincoln City, the Oregon Coast is beloved by locals for a reason. Make a day trip to see the ocean – and maybe even a whale or two.
Drive Time: 2 hours
Over 80 miles long and up to 4,000 feet deep, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is your destination if you truly want to immerse yourself in outdoor adventure near Portland. Catch wildflower and river views and spy Cascade peaks – and make it back to town for dinner.
Drive Time: 45 minutes