Sitting on the northwest coast of America near the border of nature-loving Canada, Portland (Oregon) is a city for walkers. It’s fondly known as the City of Roses and as one of America’s greenest cities. You can pound the pavement through the city and explore its eclectic neighbourhoods, or take a hike in the hills and enjoy breathtaking views and rugged coastline.
The best way to take in Portland is on foot. From its vibrant downtown with cafes and microbreweries, to its pretty residential neighbourhoods and expansive surrounding nature, here are some popular walks for when you are in Portland town.
Bridge, Waterfront And Esplanade Loop
Explore the city during a morning stroll. Start at the Willamette River which passes through downtown Portland. From Hawthorne Bridge head along the west side past fountains and historical placards explaining Portland’s history as a shipping port. Take in the beautiful views of the downtown skyline along the way.
Cross the river via the Steel Bridge, make your way down the suspended and floating walkways of Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade. Then loop back to the city over the Hawthorne Bridge in time for lunch.
Columbia River Gorge
If hiking is your thing, then you need to take a short drive to the Columbia River Gorge. It offers trails that feature beautiful waterfalls and breathtaking views.
See the famous Multnomah Falls – the second highest year-round waterfall in the United States, plummeting 190 metres. Alternatively, if you’re after unforgettable lookouts, head to Angel’s Rest and Beacon Rock.
Pearl District to Pittock Mansion
Looking for a challenging yet rewarding hike? This trail takes you from the flatlands of the Pearl District up more than 240 metres to the Pittock Mansion – a city-owned chateau with spectacular grounds and amazing views of the Cascade volcanoes.
This strenuous hike includes two staircases with almost 300 steps and some steep West Hills streets, but you are rewarded when you reach the hilltop estate. Fill up your water bottle, tour the elaborate mansion and know that it’s a downhill walk home from here.
One of the most picturesque neighbourhoods in Portland, a walk through the Laurelhurst neighbourhood will take you past perfectly manicured gardens and homes. See the iconic gilded statue of Joan of Arc, walk past heritage trees and head to the bustling neighbourhood of Sunnyside.
Nature In The City
The draw card of Portland is its offering of incredible nature sitting alongside a truly cosmopolitan and hipster city. Forest Park sits on more than 5100 acres and offers more than 110 kilometres of paths. Join the Wildwood Trail that stretches for more than 48 kilometres and pass Pittock Mansion, Hoyt Arboretum and the Audubon wildlife sanctuary.
Westmoreland to Crystal Springs and Red Canyon
Hike from the quaint Westmoreland to Reed College and pass by the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden – a 64-year-old oasis. Discover the trails around Reed Canyon’s lakes and creek – a natural wetland sitting harmoniously with the university campus.
The best part about Portland is that after a day of hiking you can choose from one of the city’s many microbreweries, coffee spots and food carts.