Portland is known for its large population of hipsters. It’s an interesting place and a fun place to visit, to say the least. Want to find maple-bacon flavored donuts outside of New England? This is a great place to try them. The scenery is phenomenal. But if you’re an outdoors enthusiast, you could do a lot worse than this city. It’s not so far from the long-distance Pacific Crest Trail, which spans from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada. But Portland also has hundreds of miles of its own trails, including the biggest city park in the United States.
And we’ll start there. Forest Park is an awe-inspiring 5,157 acres — which, to put into perspective, is larger than many state and national parks you might visit. You’ll find over 80 miles of trails through the green tunnel, and completely forget that the city is so close at any given moment. If you’re a runner or hiker, this park should be at the absolute top of your list.
The Wildwood Trail (in Forest Park, because we’re not done yet) is over 30 miles long. You’ll find the terminus at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington Park, and that’s your most likely starting point. Birdwatchers rejoice, because you’ll find a respectable Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in the Forest Park as well.
From there, you can also run from path to path to get to many places in the city, including Council Crest Park, where you’ll find great panoramic views — although a few are blocked by trees on the hillside. Want to continue even farther? Marquam Nature Park is a hop and skip away. From there, you can find your way to the George Himes City Park before wending your way toward the Willamette River, where you’ll find many more miles of path in Willamette Park and the River View Natural Area farther to the south. By then, you’ll have seen much of the city!