At 5,200 acres, Forest Park is the largest urban park in the country, and is a gorgeous, forested oasis alongside the city. Forest Park’s extensive system of trails, fire lanes and gravel roads provide excellent accessible opportunities for hiking, walking, running, and simply escaping the urban atmosphere. You’ll be amazed at the lush canopy of deep forest and ferns, wildlife and birdsong, just minutes from downtown.
Address: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221
Washington Park is an urban park that includes the Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland Children’s Museum, Rose Test Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, amphitheater, memorials, archery range, tennis courts, soccer field, picnic areas, playgrounds, public art and many acres of tranquil wild forest with miles of trails for hiking. It’s easily accessible via either car or Max from downtown.
International Rose Test Garden
Address: 400 SW Kingston Ave, Portland, OR 97205
Located in Washington Park, the International Rose Test Garden is home to over 10,000 rose bushes of approximately 650 varieties. Visit between April and October to see the blooms, with the peak happening around June. Take a peaceful and fragrant stroll through the rows and forget your cares, enjoy the unbeatable skyline view, or snap some amazing floral selfies.
Address: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd, Portland, OR 97221
With twelve miles of both relaxing and challenging hiking trails winding through 189 acres, Washington Park’s Hoyt Arboretum provides access to a globally diverse landscape, from stands of stately redwoods to groves of flowering dogwoods and cherries, exhibiting many rare and threatened species along the way.
Address: N Edison Street and N Pittsburg Avenue, Portland, OR 97203
In North Portland, nestled under the Instagram-worthy St. Johns Bridge, you’ll find Cathedral Park. Named for the Gothic bridge supports that create the soaring cathedral-like arches, and situated on a Willamette River beach and across from the tree-lined hills of Forest Park, it’s arguably the most serene of all of Portland’s parks. Bring a picnic and sit on the grass, take a walk along the path, or catch the family-friendly Cathedral Park Jazz Festival every July.
Tom McCall Waterfront Park
Address: 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
Easily accessible to downtown, Tom McCall Waterfront Park runs adjacent to the Willamette River and is often bustling with joggers, cyclists, picnickers, and others who want to enjoy the fresh air and the water. You definitely do not want to miss it in the spring, when the park’s numerous cherry trees absolutely explode with blossoms — it’s a sight to behold.