If you are looking to increase your outdoor acumen, here are 10 great places in and around Portland that you must cross off your bucket list sometime soon. The Pacific Northwest has some pretty serious natural beauty and you have got to see these incredible places. If you have already been there, chances are there is even more waiting to explore. Grab a trail map, some snacks and drinks, and get started on the ultimate Portland outdoor bucket list.
1. Sauvie Island
Ten miles north of Portland lies Sauvie Island, the largest island on the Columbia River. Farmland and a wildlife refuge line the island, which is a great spot for biking, hiking and enjoying the harvest of local farmers.
2. Eagle Creek
Head east on I-84 to exit 41, and explore this natural wonder. Dramatic waterfalls abound on the longer hikes here, or choose the 2-mile hike to the Lower Punchbowl Falls where you will be greeted by an amazing green pool at the bottom of the 15-foot waterfall.
3. Tryon Creek State Natural Area
Notable as the only state park in a major metro area, Tryon Creek is a gem that is waiting to be explored. Situated in the southwest Portland, this park is a wonderful place to spot trillium blooms in early spring.
4. Audubon Society of Portland
Neighboring Forest Park, this 150-acre nature sanctuary provides an in-depth look at native plants and animals. Explore the 4 miles of hiking trails, and stop by the center, which houses rescued birds year-round.
5. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Spot one (or more) of Portland's great blue herons at this 170-acre urban wildlife refuge in the city. Just north of the Sellwood Bridge, this expansive refuge is home to over 175 bird species, making it a veritable bird-watching paradise.
6. Forest Park
Lace up your shoes and hike some of Forest Park's impressive 70 miles of trails. Whether you run or hike, this park is a must-visit on your outdoor bucket list.
7. Springwater Corridor
Stretching from the Willamette River to Boring, this 20-mile trail is a scenic ride perfect for an afternoon adventure. Grab a bike and hit the trail.
8. Multnomah Falls
Head east of town to the Columbia River Gorge and the spectacular Multnomah Falls for a picturesque favorite. Weekdays are the best to avoid crowds, and the 2.4-mile trail to the top is well worth it for the spectacular view.
9. Hoyt Arboretum
Lying west of downtown, this impressive 189-acre outdoor tree museum is a must-see. Explore 12 miles of trails year-round at this educational tree masterpiece.
10. Crystal Springs Rhododendren Garden
The amazing variety of rhododendrons here make this a must-see outdoor spot, especially in spring when the garden is in full bloom. Seven acres of garden includes natural areas that are perfect for watching birds, most of which are waterfowl that gather on the large ponds in spring and winter months.