If you have harbored dreams of being an explorer, but don’t want to venture out from the city, we’ve got you covered. Here are eight places in Portland that you can explore without the need for a bunch of fancy navigational supplies. The trails are already laid and your path is clear. The only thing waiting is for you to get there and begin your epic exploratory journey.
1. Forest Park
With over 5,000 acres of forest, this is your best place to get started exploring. 80 miles of trails await you in this pristine and quiet forest on the northwest side of town.
2. Mt Tabor
Sitting on the cinder cone of an extinct volcano, Mt Tabor is just waiting to be explored. Several trails allow you to escape into nature, and open spaces make it the perfect place to relax.
3. Powell Butte
This 600-acre park, also sitting on an extinct cinder cone, is comprised of miles of trails through meadows and forest and is one of the best places to explore in SE Portland.
4. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Another SE Portland gem, Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge is a great place to explore the birds of the region. Take the trails through the park for an enjoyable easy hike or just sit and watch the birds make their way through the wetlands.
5. Tryon Creek State Park
Enjoy the moss-covered scenery of this expansive state park from one of its lovely easy trails. Explore local flora and fauna in the laid-back park.
6. Sauvie Island
Head out to Sauvie Island for an adventure on one of its many trails. Wapato State Greenway, Warrior Rock Lighthouse Trail, and the Oak Island Nature Trail are some of the best places to start your adventure.
7. Smith & Bybee Wetlands
One of the largest freshwater urban wetlands in the country, this park tops out at 2,000 acres and is just waiting to be explored. Beavers, ospreys, bald eagles, and turtles all call the wetlands home, making the journey all the more fun.
8. Washington Park
Admittedly, there are typically a lot of people at this park, but that doesn't take away from its value. Head into Hoyt Arboretum or the Japanese Garden for some beautiful scenery, or simply take the loop around the entire park for a peaceful journey.
What is your favorite place to explore in Portland? Let us know in the comments below.