Top 20 Best Walks in and around Portland (tried and tested)

In such a green and easy-on-the-eye city, there are plenty of scenic places to explore on foot whether it’s an urban area lined with vintage boutiques, by the river, a gorgeous park, a lush garden, or around a wooded trail. I like nothing better than taking a wander around the city and if you’re looking for some of the most interesting spots, here are my favorite tried and tested best and most beautiful walks in and around Portland, Oregon…

Top 3 of the Best Walks in and around Portland
Tom McCall Waterfront Park 1 1 1 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For River Views
Tom McCall Waterfront Park
  • -
  • 98 SW Naito Pkwy
Downtown Waterfront Loop Walk 1 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Dog-Friendly
Downtown Waterfront Loop Walk
  • -
  • Portland, OR 97239, USA
Roses at The International Rose Test Garden 1 1 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Flower Lovers
Around International Rose Test Garden
  • -
  • 400 SW Kingston Ave
Best For River Views

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Tom McCall Waterfront Park

Located in Downtown Portland, Tom McCall Waterfront Park is an amusement park covering an area of 36.85 acres.

Nestled on the bank of the Willamette River, Tom McCall Waterfront Park is one of the most frequented urban spaces in Portland that attracts both locals and visitors. I’d recommend heading there mid-March to early April to see the beautiful cherry blossoms that line the park’s path. 

It has many walkways and trails well-suited for dog walking, cycling, and running. 

As you saunter across the park, you get to relish the exquisite views of the Willamette River and the vegetation skirting the main walkway. The trail that runs beside the river is relatively flat which makes it ideal for dog-walking.


Breathtaking Willamette River views

Ideal for dog-walking and running

Attracts both locals and visitors

Stunning cherry blossoms in the spring


Limited parking options

Weather-dependent activities

Nearby Attractions

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade and Bar

Willamette River

Hotel deLuxe

Must Do Things

Stroll along the river promenade

Enjoy a picnic by the scenic Willamette River


Nearby gaming arcade

Dine in at various popular restaurants

Best For Dog-Friendly

Downtown Waterfront Loop Walk

Downtown Waterfront Loop Walk

The Downtown Waterfront Loop Walk is a beautiful trail that runs along the Willamette River. While hiking this trail, you get to take in the spectacular views of Portland’s bridges and Downtown skyline. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the Eastbank Esplanade, and the

Steel and Hawthorne bridges are some of the most prominent landmarks that you can see while strolling on this trail. 

The trail starts from Salmon Streets Springs which is easily accessible by Trimet buses, a bus line serving Downtown Portland. The hike itself is mostly flat with a few slopes connecting to the floating walkway and Hawthorne Bridge.


Scenic river views

Iconic bridge sightseeing

Convenient access from Trimet

Easy flat terrain

Dog Friendly (on a leash)


Limited shade on hot days

Occasional crowds

Minor slopes on route

Nearby Attractions

Brooklyn Park

River's Edge Hotel Portland

Tapestry Collection by Hilton

Jack in the Box

Must Do Things

Stroll along the river

enjoying skyline views

Explore Tom McCall Waterfront Park's greenery


Scenic Views

Pedestrian Bridges

Best For Flower Lovers

Around International Rose Test Garden

The International Rose Test Garden

Portland has always been famous as ‘the city of roses’ because it has ideal weather conditions for growing roses.

Located in Southeast Portland, Rose Test Garden is Portland’s oldest rose garden housing more than 10,000 roses including 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, multiflora roses, Mr Lincoln, and many other rose species.

Though the park does not have any defined hiking trails, it has several walkways that help you explore every corner of the garden and this is definitely up there as being one of my favorite places to take a stroll. 

The best time to visit the Rose Test Garden is between February to June as this period is marked by rose blooms. As you stroll across the garden, you get to indulge in the mesmerizing views of Mount Hood and Downtown Portland. 


Ideal for flower enthusiasts

Located in scenic Washington Park

Stunning rose varieties collection

Perfect for summer vibes


Some flowers are only seasonal

Crowded during peak season

Nearby Attractions

Washington Park Amphitheater

Portland Japanese Garden

John Reed Bench

Must Do Things

Take a peaceful stroll among the flowers

Learn about different flowers


Offers kid-friendly hikes

Picnics tables and a tennis court

Best For Round Trip

Blue Loop Trail, Mount Tabor Park

Blue Loop Trail, Mount Tabor Park

Located inside Mount Tabor Park, Blue Loop Trail is a highly trafficked trail that is best used for running, bird-watching, and hiking.

The trail connects with several other trails that run along Mount Tabor Park. The best time to hike the Blue Loop Trail is between April and September. While you are allowed to walk your dogs on the trail, you will have to keep them on a leash.

With an elevation gain of 76 meters, Blue Loop Trail is a small part of Mount Tabor Hike, an extensive trail that starts from Lincoln Street and ends at Mount Tabor Summit. 


Urban nature escape

Handy loop trail

Great for running

Bird watching opportunity

Well-connected trail system


Limited hiking season

Some elevation

Nearby Attractions

The Observatory

The Zymoglyphic Museum

Movie Madness Video

Must Do Things

Enjoy bird watching in the tranquil park setting

Take a camera and capture the nature


Scenic Hiking

Bird Watching


Best For Forest Views

Marquam Nature Park

Marquam Nature Park

Nestled in the Tualatin Mountains, Marquam Nature Park is the place to relish solitude. Though the place does not offer any mesmerizing views, it offers a pleasant wooded walk full of quiet ambiance.

Located in Southwest Portland, Marquam Nature Park has several walking trails that take you to some of the most beautiful parts of the West Hills. 

Marquam Trail starts in the park and connects to a 40-mile loop trail that ends at Willamette Park after passing over Council Crest.

While walking across the park, you get to see plenty of native plant species including Douglas fir, bigleaf maples, red cedar, and western cedar. There is a plethora of bigleaf maples at the beginning of the trail which makes it an ideal spot for nature photography. 


Serene woodland walk

Access to beautiful West Hills

Abundance of Native plant species

Ideal for nature photography and wildlife spotting


Remote location for some

Weather-dependent activities

Nearby Attractions


Oregon Health & Science University

Einstein Bros. Bagels

Must Do Things

Spots birds and wildlife

Capture nature's beauty with photography


Hiking trails

Nature photography opportunities

Best For Historic Neighborhood

Historic Kerns Walk

Oregon Park Portland

Located in the Kerns neighborhood of Portland, Historic Kerns Walk is a 2.7-mile 2.7-mile-long trail that offers enchanting views of all major landmarks in the area.

The trail is completely flat with several sidewalks and corners without any curb cuts. 

Historic Kerns Walk starts from Oregon Park and is easily accessible by 12-Sandy and 19-Glisan buses. The trail is best used between March to April. 


Scenic and historic neighborhood

Convenient access via public transport

Flat and easy terrain

Ideal for March to April visits


Limited accessibility for wheelchairs

Much better in fine weather

Nearby Attractions

Chris Kelleher. Me

Rose VL Deli

ABC Seafood Company

Must Do Things

Explore Oregon Park's natural beauty

Stroll through Kern Neighborhood for a blend of history and modernity


Scenic Walking Trail

Public Transportation Access

Best For Wheelchair-friendly

Eastbank Esplanade Loop Trail

Eastbank Esplanade Walk Portland

Located beside McCall Waterfront Park, Eastbank Esplanade Loop Trail is a 2.6-mile-long loop trail that is well suited for strolling, bird watching, dog walking, biking, and running.

It is a wheelchair-friendly and kid-friendly trail that is mostly flat. With an elevation gain of 32 meters, Eastbank Esplanade is paved smoothly with asphalt. 

The trail is highly trafficked and accessible throughout the year. The trail can also be accessed by vans through striped aisles. It has only one designated accessible space at its southeast end.

While most of the trail is flat, it has some steeper sections where hikers using mobility equipment for wheelchairs may need assistance.


Suitable for all fitness levels


Year-round accessibility

Family and pet-friendly


Limited designated accessible parking

Steeper sections may require assistance

Nearby Attractions

Shake Shack West End Portland

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade and Bar

Must Do Things

Explore the trail on two wheels

which is great for cyclists

Enjoy a leisurely walk with river views


Wheelchair-friendly trail

Suitable for strolling


and running

Best For Wooded Area

Hoyt Arboretum

Hoyt Arboretum Portland

Hoyt Arboretum is a part of Washington Park, one of the most visited tourist sites in Portland. Hoyt Arboretum covers about 189 acres of the total area of Washington Park.

As you stroll around the park, you get to enjoy the mesmerizing views of the Tualatin Mountains.

There are several trails that you can use to walk around the park. Here is what we recommend; Fir Trail is a flat loop trail that starts near the Stevens Pavilion, runs along the hedges surrounding the park, and ends at the Pavillion.

If you want to explore the southeast part of the Arboretum, you should stroll on the Overlook Trails, a 2-hour loop trail that passes through the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The trail has varying elevations and is skirted with deciduous trees. 


Diverse Tree Collection

12 Miles of Hiking Trails

Stunning Tualatin Mountain Views

Part of Popular Washington Park


Limited amenities

Seasonal weather limitations

Nearby Attractions

Portland Japanese Garden

Thai Chili Jam Restaurant and Full Bar

Must Do Things

Explore the Fir Trail Loop for scenic walks amid diverse trees

Hike the Overlook Trail to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Enjoy breathtaking Tualatin Mountain views during your visit


Hiking trails (12 miles)

Thousands of native


and endangered trees to explore

Best For Hipsters

Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard

Hawthorne District Walk

Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard is a bustling street offering plenty of amazing things to do.

The street spans 43 blocks of vintage shops, indie boutiques, cozy coffee shops, small bookstores, and ritzy eateries. 

With a vibrant ambiance, the street is a perfect place for casual walks. The street is one of the most frequented spots in the Southeast neighborhood of Portland. 


Vintage shops and boutiques

Cozy coffee shops

Vibrant ambiance

Hip area ideal for casual walks


Limited parking availability

Higher-end eateries may be pricey

Nearby Attractions

Bluebird Guesthouse

TarBoush Lebanese Bistro & Bar

Must Do Things

Shop for unique finds in vintage boutiques

Savor artisanal coffee at cozy cafés


Eclectic boutiques

Quaint coffee shops

Best For Wildlife Spotting

The Wildwood Trail

The Wildwood Trail Portland

The Wildwood Trail is a moderately trafficked 30.2-mile-long trail that starts at the Vietnam Memorial and enters Forest Park after passing through West Burnside St.

After walking three miles from the southeast end of the Vietnam Memorial, you enter an urban wilderness that houses a wide range of animals including 62 species of mammals and 112 birds. 

The Wildwood Trail is the most accessible route to Forest Park.

The trail is well-suited for running, hiking, strolling, and dog walking. Both starting and ending points of the trail lie outside the park.

However, you can explore every corner of the park while walking on The Wildwood Trail. 


Family-friendly urban trail

Ideal for dog walkers

Accessible entry point at Vietnam Memorial

Urban wilderness with diverse wildlife


Long trail may not suit everyone

Limited amenities

Nearby Attractions

Heroes Cafe

St. Johns Bridge

Skyline Restaurant

Must Do Things

Take a leisurely walk on The Wildwood Trail and immerse yourself in a 30-mile urban wilderness adventure

Explore diverse wildlife with 62 mammal and 112 bird species


Hiking and running trail

Dog-friendly walking path

Best For Lake Views

Reed College

Reed College Walks Portland

If you want to explore the natural gems of inner Southeast Portland, you can use the Reed College trails to get to them. There is a short looping trail located on the north side of the campus that starts at the Crystal Springs Canyon.

Whether you are seeking solitude or scenery, you can use this trail to relax and relish the captivating beauty of Crystal Springs Lake and other landmarks surrounding Reed College. 

You will have to walk two miles before you enter the gravel path that surrounds the soccer field. The gravel path is not an easy hike.

Located on a grassy hillside, the trail is mostly flat with several uphill/downhill sections which make it well-suited for walking and jogging. 


Scenic nature walk

Reed College landmarks

Tranquil lake views

Varied terrain for fitness


Lengthy initial walk

Gravel path challenging for some

Nearby Attractions

Trinity United Methodist Church


Eastmoreland Golf Course

Must Do Things

Walk along the scenic trails

starting at Crystal Springs canyon

to enjoy the serene beauty of Crystal Springs Lake

Take in the beauty of Reed College's impressive buildings while strolling through the campus


Scenic Nature Walks

Access to Reed College's Beautiful Buildings

Best For Bird Spotting

Pittock Bird Sanctuary Nature Trail

Pittock Bird Sanctuary Portland

Located outside the borderline of Forest Park, Pittock Bird Sanctuary Nature Trail is a 4 miles long path that surrounds Pittock Bird Sanctuary.

It is a moderately trafficked trail that is well suited for bird-watching, strolling, dog-walking, and running. 

The trail is part of a network of several well-maintained trails that pass through three zones, namely The Uhtoff, The Collins, and The Pittock Sanctuaries.

The trail features educational plant identification placards so you may want to hike the trail with your kids. It also has many resting spots. 


Serene bird-watching paradise

Tranquil natural terrain

Family-friendly with educational signs

Extensive network of trails


Limited facilities

Seasonal weather variations

Nearby Attractions

Witch's Castle

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Portland-NW Downtown

an IHG Hotel

Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant

Must Do Things

Explore the 4-mile trail through scenic bird sanctuaries

Observe diverse bird species in their natural habitat


Educational plant identification placards

Bird-watching opportunities

Best For Urban Trail

Concordia Neighborhood Greenways Walk

Concordia Neighborhood Greenways Walk

The Greenway network is a series of walkways in the Concordia neighborhood of Portland. These walkways constitute a 3.3-mile-long trail that is moderately trafficked.

The path starts at Fernhill Park and is mostly flat. It does not have any sidewalks or curb cuts which makes it well-suited for strolling, biking, and cycling. 

As you walk through the Greenway network, you get to explore every corner of the Concordia Neighborhood. The network comprises lower-traffic residential streets with a serene ambiance. 


Convenient 3.3-mile trail

Scenic urban neighborhood exploration

Tranquil and lower-traffic streets

Convenient starting point at Fernhill Park


No curb cuts for accessibility

Moderate traffic at times

Can get busy with cyclists

Nearby Attractions

Wilshire Park

Tin Shed Garden Cafe

Thomas J. Autzen House

Must Do Things

Stroll through Fernhill Park

Explore the peaceful streets of Concordia Neighborhood


Scenic biking and strolling path

Easy access to Concordia Neighborhood exploration

Best For City Landmarks

Pearl District to Pittock Mansion

Walk from Pearl District to Pittock Mansion

If you want to test your abilities as a walker, you should take this long walk from the Pearl District to Pittock Mansion. It starts from the flatlands of the Pearl and passes through West Hills to Pittock Mansion, a chateau built in Portland in 1914.

The walk also comprises many walkways constituting up to 300 steps. 

The path is about 5.6 miles long and takes 2 to 3 hours to cover. However, there are many resting places along the path. 


Scenic city views with landmarks

Challenging and satisfying hike

Historic Pittock Mansion visit

Ample resting spots


Long walk for some

Steep sections

Requires physical stamina

Nearby Attractions

Barbara Walker Crossing

Hillside Community Center

Must Do Things

Hike to Pittock Mansion for panoramic city views

Explore the historic architecture and beautiful gardens at Pittock Mansion


Scenic Overlook

Resting Areas

Best For Urban Stroll

Laurelhurst Park to Lone Fir Walk

Laurelhurst Walk Portland Oregon

If you want to explore every corner of Laurelhurst, you should take this loop trail around the neighborhood. The neighborhood features vintage homes, busy streets, amusement parks, and beautiful gardens.

You can explore many major landmarks of Laurelhurst as you walk around the neighborhood. 

As you travel around the neighborhood, you will come across a lot of tourists as Laurelhurst houses many prominent tourist sites.

Though many bus lines offer tours around the neighborhood, you get to explore more by walking.

This walk allows you to explore the entire neighborhood of Laurelhurst in only 2 hours. It’s a 3.5-mile long walk with no climbs. 


Scenic neighborhood exploration

Rich in historic landmarks

Ideal for leisurely strolls with a loop

Easily accessible on foot


Potential crowded with tourists

Limited amusement park access

No significant elevation changes

Nearby Attractions

Jersey Mike's Subs

Rose City Futsal EAST

Must Do Things

Walk through historic neighborhoods

Enjoy bird watching and serene gardens

Experience the local culture on foot


Hiking trails

Bird watching opportunities

Scenic garden views

Best For Urban Tranquility

Washington Park

Washington Park Portland

There are so many well-maintained trails around Washington Park. You can walk on any of these trails to explore all areas of the park.

While several trails run along the park, you can stroll around the park through a loop trail. 

The most prominent landmarks that you come across while strolling around the garden include the World Forestry Center, Portland Children’s Museum, Rose Test Garden, and Japanese Garden.

You also get to see archery ranges, memorials, soccer fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, public art, and the beautiful vegetation of the park. 


Diverse trail options

Scenic urban nature park

Prominent landmarks

Recreational facilities available


Some areas may get crowded

Weather-dependent activities

Nearby Attractions

Park Lane Suites & Inn

Elephants Delicatessen

Providence Park

Must Do Things

Explore the Rose Test Garden for stunning floral displays

Visit the Japanese Garden for a tranquil

cultural experience.


Well-maintained trails

Landmarks and gardens

Best For Unspoilt Island

Oak Island Loop Hike

Sturgeon Lake, Portland

Oak Island Loop Hike is a 2.8-mile-long trail that runs beside Sturgeon Lake on Sauvie Island. It is a moderately trafficked loop trail that starts at Oak Island Trailhead Road and ends at Sturgeon Lake Narrows.

With an elevation pitch of 10 feet, Oak Island Loop Hike is well-suited for hikers and walkers. The best time to use the trail is between April and September. 

The trail can also be used for strolling. It is one of the best ways to explore Oak Island. As you walk across Oak Island on this trail, you get to indulge in the beauty of the island’s lush green vegetation which includes oak trees, willows, and ash trees. 


Scenic island location

Ideal for hiking and strolling

Picturesque Oak Island views

Suitable for all levels of hikers


Can be crowded in peak seasons

Seasonal trail restrictions

Nearby Attractions

Burger King

Rosebud Cafe

Must Do Things

Take a leisurely walk through Oak Island's lush green vegetation

Explore the 2.8-mile trail along Sturgeon Lake.


Scenic stroll along Sturgeon Lake

Hike the 2.8-mile Oak Island Loop trail

Enjoy the lush island vegetation.

Best For Elevated Hiking

Newton Road to Newberry Road

Newton Road to Newberry Road 

Newton Road to Newberry Road is a 4.5-mile-long trail that begins at the Newton Road Trailhead and ends at the Newberry Road Trailhead.

The trail comes with short loops and has an elevation gain of 2190 feet. 

It is an easy walk that takes you through secondary forests featuring alder, maple, and conifers. It is a moderately trafficked trail that is accessible throughout the year.


Scenic forest views


accessible walk

Year-round availability

Varied tree species


A bit remote for some

Moderately trafficked trail

Nearby Attractions

Lighthouse Restaurant & Bar

Kingsley Community Garden

Must Do Things

Enjoy a leisurely forest stroll

Experience the changing seasons through lush foliage.


Ample trailhead parking for hikers' vehicles

Interpretive signs and benches along the route for resting and learning

Restrooms at both trailheads for convenience.

Best For Family-Friendly

Kelley Point Park

Kelley Point Park Portland

Located at the convergence point of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, Kelley Point Park is an amusement park with well-maintained and paved trails that run along the beautiful rivers.

As you walk along these trails, you get to experience the serenity of the water of these rivers. The main trail that travels through the park is 1.7 miles long. 

The park is bordered by Columbia Slough on the south, the Columbia River on the north, and the Willamette River on the west.


Scenic riverfront trails

Serene river convergence views

1.7-mile main trail

Unique river borders and some beaches


Limited amenities

Crowded during peak times

Minimal recreational facilities.

Nearby Attractions

Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area

St. Johns Bridge

St. Johns Inn

Must Do Things

Take in the meeting point of Willamette and Columbia Rivers

Enjoy a serene stroll along paved riverside trails.


Paved riverfront trails

Riverside picnic areas

Best For Unique Views

Alameda Ridge

Alameda Ridge Portland

Alameda Ridge is one of the most visited tourist sites in Portland. It constitutes more than a thousand public stairs constructed in the 20th century and passes through six neighborhoods in Northeast Portland.

The staircases rise 250 feet to the West Hills and Downtown Portland. There are 11 staircases tucked among small houses, bungalows, and cottages. Each staircase has 30 to 127 steps. 

The scenery-packed, calf-blasting route explores an intriguing network of public staircases tucked among bungalows, cottages, and stately manors. As you walk up these stairwells, you get to see the civilized landscapes of Portland. 


Unique urban stairway experience

Stunning cityscape views

Historic neighborhoods exploration

Iconic Portland attraction

Easy 3-mile walk


Stair climbing can be tiring

Limited amenities on the route.

Nearby Attractions

Portland's White House

Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden

Wilshire Park

Must Do Things

Climb the Alameda Ridge staircases for stunning city views

Explore the historic neighborhoods along the stairwell route.


Visit the Portland Art Museum

Public staircase network

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