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Elle Ossello | 02.08.2019

Portland is a city teeming with creativity—it’s renowned as an epicenter of challenged norms and new precedents. We’d wager a guess that could be partially due to its stellar proximity to nature and outdoor adventure. French novelist Honoré de Balzac queried, “What is art, but nature concentrated?” We’re not about to challenge him on that one, especially when it comes to Portland.

Microadventuring might help you look at old things a new way. Maple Trail. Halvor Tweto.

Here, nature is so well intertwined with the bustling city that we practically claim Forest Park as the back doorstep. So while there are fantastic pie-in-the-sky objectives to tack up to bulletin boards and place at the top of bucket lists (lookin’ at you, Pearly Gates), there’s a wealth of microadventures about and just outside of the city that perfectly punctuate a long workweek or a staycation. And if there’s any city in which the microadventure is bound to become the norm, it’s Portland. Residents of the Rose City appreciate the notion that it doesn’t have to be fantastic to be meaningful; it doesn’t have to be record-breaking to be remarkable.

What’s extraordinary, though, is that these adventures run the gamut when it comes to type: we’ve got everything from mountain biking to canoeing represented and nearly everything in between. So break the routine and get after it after hours. 

Still not totally sold? Let Jill bring it home in How to Microadventure Like a Badass.

Skip the next happy hour or after-work grocery shop and opt into these 10 local-to-PDX microadventures:

The best microadventures combine easy access with that backcountry feel. Hayden Island. Michael Sawiel.
  1. Get ‘Walden’ with it at Oxbow Nature Trail
  2. Wave to Mt. Hood from the top of the Maple Trail
  3. Spot a life bird in the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
  4. Pull off a midweek camping trip on the Columbia River: Hayden Island To Lemon Island
  5. Break out your SUP for an adventure on the Columbia River: Reed Island Channel
  6. Practice drops and cornering at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park Mountain Bike Trails
  7. Discover a new-to-you species at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge
  8. Dust off your hard tail and hit Leif Erikson Drive
  9. Skip the crowds and stay in a yurt midweek at Paradise Point State Park Campground
  10. Get quintessentially PDX with a jaunt in Forest Park


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