Categories: Outdoors

Urban Oasis: Forest Park

An oasis of adventure in urban Portland, Forest Park is a top destination for hiking, biking, and nature exploration. The 5,172-acre park in the heart of northwest Portland teems with a rich variety of flora along nearly 80 miles of trails beneath a tranquil evergreen canopy.

Guided walks, discovery hikes, and more nature-centered events year-round are aimed at educating the public about natural resource and conservation topics in hopes and connecting local residents to the natural world of their own backyard. For runners, the annual Forest Park Trail Marathon and Half Marathon happens every August, with proceeds supporting resource restoration and protection.

The park’s famous Wildwood trail offers access to multiple corners of Portland through a scenic and sensibly crafted passageway. Along with amazing views of towering trees is the Stone House, built in the 1930s by the Works Progress Administration. It is a charming place to rest and absorb some history along the trail.

As early as 1899, citizens of Portland began preserving miles of forested hillside along the western border of the downtown area. After withstanding waves of timber and oil resource extraction, a plan to protect the park began in 1948. Today the park represents a working partnership among the community, Portland Parks & Recreation and The Forest Park Conservancy.   

For more on trails, and mileage maps in Forest Park, visit The Forest Park Conservancy and Portland Parks & Recreation.


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