Powell Butte is an extinct volcanic cinder cone, along with Rocky Butte, Kelly Butte and Mount Tabor. All are part of the Boring Lava Field, which became active as long as 2.7 million years ago but hasn’t created much rumbling for over 300,000 years. In more practical terms, Powell Butte Nature Park is a fantastic little getaway tucked into Southeast Portland. Set up a picnic on a sunny day at the top of what was formerly the Meadowland Dairy, or explore the nine miles of well-maintained trails that wind through the park. The eastern portion of the park offers an orchard and a lupine meadow, and you'll also see full views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood and occasional views of Mount Jefferson on clear days. The western portion of the park is a pristinely preserved Pacific Northwest forest. If you are there in May, you'll enjoy numerous wild flowers: keep your eyes open for fringecup, waterleaf, candy flower and Pacific blackberry. This hike, which covers most of the park, will take you through both of these distinctive and equally enjoyable park sections.