Unbeknownst to many, there are a surprising number of trails near Portland, each just as gorgeous as the next. But deep in the woods of Forest Park lies a unique abandoned structure that is surrounded by decades of lore, including tales of witches and murder. The actual stone structure was originally built for public use in the 1930s, but was abandoned after it fell into disrepair in the 1960s. However, it was built on the site of the Balch Cabin, the scene of an infamous murder in the 1800s, and has been known as the Witch’s Castle ever since. Ready to see it for yourself? Grab a camera and some hiking boots – this is one of the best hikes in Portland!

Have you been to the Witch’s Castle? Do you have any recommendations for other things to do in the area? Let us know in the comments below! Next, to check out even more of the best hikes in Portland, add these 9 easy trails to your bucket list.

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Best Hikes in Portland & Related Info

Are there any castles in Oregon?

While Oregon isn't home to any castles once occupied by royalty, there are a few private homes around the state that have been designed using traditional materials and techniques. Some of these castle-like structures in Oregon can be visited, rented, or accessed with permission, but many remain private or are currently in ruins after decades of weathering:

  • Blackberry Castle, Portland
  • Creswell Castle, Creswell
  • The Witch's Castle, Portland
  • Castle Estate, Portland
  • Reed College, Portland
  • Piggott's Castle, Portland


What are the coolest abandoned places to visit in Oregon?

Keeping safety top-of-mind is paramount when exploring abandoned places in Oregon. Stick with well-known locations that offer official tours and viewing areas, such as Oregon's coolest abandoned and living ghost towns, and official historical trails:

  • Fort Rock Valley
  • Fort Stevens State Park
  • Guano Creek
  • Kinton
  • Peter Iredale Shipwreck
  • Tiller