Best of Portland, OR Parks: Forest Park

I never would have imagined there were so many different shades of green. Forest Park is gigantic, it is one of the largest urban forests in America. There are extensive (80+ miles) and eclectic trails to choose from with multiple entrance points. On a rainy morning I wasn’t sure how long I was willing to hike, so I picked a shorter trail to start out with. The Lower Macleay trail can be hiked with a two mile loop filled with lovely scenery with some interesting stops along the way.

The Balch Creek was raging on our rainy fall visit. Is continuously present along the way with plenty of delightful rapids and cascades.

Don’t miss an admirable Douglas Fir is labeled as a Portland heritage tree, the biggest living in the city!

After a mile you will reach the stone house built in the 1930s was as a picnic shelter, tool storage, and restrooms – but was destroyed by a storm leaving some excellent ruins.

The rain was petering out to a manageable drizzle, so I felt a longer walk was possible. We hopped in the car and drove to the Leif Erikson trail, the drive on the winding road in this part of the park itself was gorgeous!

This is a hard packed flat path and with the cover from the dense trees the rain was really minimalized. Every ¼ mile of the way is marked, this trail goes on for over 11 miles so you can choose how long you’d like to venture.

You feel so far from the city nestled amongst the devastatingly green of the trees. These are just two of the trails within this vast park, which is such a treasure reserve for the city.

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