At 5,157 acres, Forest Park in Portland, Oregon is one of the largest urban forests in the United States. The park stretches for nearly seven miles along the eastern slope of the Tualatin Mountains and overlooks Northwest Portland. With plenty of trails, fire lanes, and roads to explore, Forest Park in Oregon gives visitors a true northwest forest experience. And you don’t even have to leave the Portland city limits! Here are some of our favorite things to do there.
Are you looking for a great place to hike or bike? You’re in luck! More than 70 miles of trails cut through Forest Park. The longest is the Wildwood Trail, which begins in Washington Park near the Oregon Zoo. In its first five miles, the trail passes near the Portland Japanese Garden, Pittock Mansion, the Audubon Society of Portland, and the Stone House in Balch Creek Canyon. From this point west, the Wildwood Trail runs through the uninterrupted forest. Feel free to wander on your own or take a guided Forest Park Discovery Hike to learn more about the area.
Select Registry Tip: Keep your eyes peeled for the “Witch’s House”. This abandoned structure was originally built in the 1930’s, but only its stone walls and staircase remain. It’s a beautiful and mysterious place to explore!
Flora, Fauna, & Wildlife
More than 112 bird species and 62 mammal species can be found in the park. There’s also a wide variety of trees and shade-loving plants. About 40 inches of rain falls in the forest each year, and many small tributaries of the Willamette River flow northeast through the woods. One of them, Balch Creek, has a resident trout population, and another, Miller Creek, supports sea-run species, including salmon. Fishing and hunting are prohibited.
Forest Park offers a wide range of activities and events throughout the year. From guided herb walks to nature photography workshops, the park truly has something for everyone. Check their event calendar for a full list of upcoming programs.
Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins
Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins located in Carson, WA is about an hour and a half from Forest Park in Oregon. Here, guests can book a private cabin complete with a hand-carved log bed, hydrotherapy spa tub, and spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge. You’ll even enjoy thoughtful extras like a welcome snack basket! Named one of the “Top 10 Most Romantic Hotels in the Country,” Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins is the perfect place to relax and escape.
Another great lodging option is Youngberg Hill Bed and Breakfast. Located about 90 minutes from the forest in the heart of Oregon Wine Country, this “Green” property is surrounded by an organic vineyard. Guests can sip award-winning wines right on the inn grounds or take a short drive to Willamette Valley and visit over 100 wineries and tasting rooms. With romantic wedding and elopement packages, Youngberg Hill has everything you need in one fabulous location.