The GENERAL STORE is open for business. Free shipping on all orders over $30. Come in and check it out today.
Forest Park

Share Via:

  • Aerial view of Portland looking south, with Forest Park at right.- Forest Park
  • View of Forest Park looking across the Willamette River from the Overlook neighborhood.- Forest Park
  • View of downtown Portland from the Pittock Mansion.- Forest Park
  • Leif Erikson Road.- Forest Park
  • Forest Park's Wildwood Trail.- Forest Park
  • Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum).- Forest Park
  • Forest Park's Stonehouse, at the intersection of the Lower Macleay Trail and the Wildwood Trail.- Forest Park
  • - Forest Park
  • Bridge over Balch Creek.- Forest Park
  • Banana Slug (Ariolimax columbianus).- Forest Park
  • The Wildwood Trail.- Forest Park
  • Leif Erikson Road.- Forest Park
  • Forest Park's Pittock Brid Sanctuary, next to the Audobon Society.- Forest Park
  • - Forest Park
  • Viewing looking out over the St. Johns Bridge from the Ridge Trail.- Forest Park
  • Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum).- Forest Park
  • Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis).- Forest Park
Overview + Weather
Incredible nature in the city. Over 80 miles of trails.
Lots of dogs. Limited vistas. Not friendly to mountain bikes.
Portland Metro Area, OR
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Picnic Tables: 
Dogs allowed: 

Current Local Weather


Becoming Sunny


Areas Fog


Chance Rain


Rain Likely


Rain Likely


Chance Rain
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


Most renowned for their design for New York City’s Central Park, the Olmsted Brothers* were commissioned by the City of Portland in 1903 to access its existing parks and to seek out opportunities to develop new ones.  Among those opportunities were Peninsula Park and Mount Tabor, but the chief contributing vision was the preservation of the land and hills now known as Forest Park.  According to the Olmsted Report, a “visit to these woods would afford more pleasure and satisfaction than a visit to any other sort of park.”  Although this vision for Forest Park was born long ago, the park wasn’t actually created until 1948 due to conflicting visions for the area's development. Park advocates prevailed, however, and today Forest Park is the largest naturally vegetated city park in the United States, with nearly 5,100 acres.

The best way to explore the park is to hike or bike some of the 80 miles of maintained trails.  At roughly 30 miles long, the Wildwood Trail is the park's longest trail and a connection between Forest Park and neighboring Washington Park.  Leif Erikson Drive is an old, roughly paved 11-mile corridor that runs parallel to the Wildwood Trail. This road was originally built in 1915 to help develop the land.  Creating the perfect route through the park will most likely involve finding a suitable connection between these two major corridors. To make this task easier we recommend four simple hikes to get you started: the Lower Macleay Trail Loop, the Wild Cherry Trail Loop, the Ridge Trail and the Springville Trail Loop.

*Interestingly, Central Park was actually designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and his business partner, Calvert Vaux.  Their landscape architecture firm would later be passed down to his son and step-son, Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and John Charles Olmsted, who would ultimately be known professionally as the Olmsted Brothers.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(96 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It

22 Members

Who's Done It

101 Members

Submission by

859 Adventures Explored
858 Adventures Published

Contact Outdoor Project

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info