On the eastern edge of Portland is a spectacular nature park rich with history that is all too often overlooked.
Originally called Camp Butte after the family who settled it, this long extinct cinder cone has been used for agricultural purposes since 1880 when it was an orchard and cattle ranch. In 1908 the Anderegg family, emigrants from Switzerland, took over the property and with their roughly 700 head of dairy cows ran the Mountain View Dairy, a name that would later changed to Meadowland Dairy. In 1925 the City of Portland purchased much of the land encompassing the butte for a future water reservoir, but continued to lease the land back to the family for pasturing until 1948 when the dairy closed. Later, in 1960, the butte was renamed to Powell Butte, but apparently most of the locals still referred to it as Anderegg Hill. It wasn't until 1990 that the public could come to visit what is now the Powell Butte Nature Park.
Today, the 608-acre park is home to some 9 miles of trails, open meadows, remnants of the once commercial orchard, and distinct old-growth temperate forest on the butte's western edge. Be sure to get on the Pioneer Orchard Loop Trail to see the most of what the park has to offer. The park is open to use by horseback, and unlike its west-side cousin Forest Park, Powell Butte Nature Park is friendly to mountain bikers.
Note: The Portland Water Bureau continues expansion and retrofitting of it's reservoir on the park's east side, so expect some trail closures or re-routes.