Of all the parks in Portland, Forest Park is arguably the favorite among locals. This is partly because it’s so massive – the largest in the city and also the largest urban forested park in the entire country – but also because it speaks to Portlanders’ love of nature. It’s largely unspoiled, and it’s easy to feel like you’re nowhere near a large metropolitan area within a few minutes of entering the park.
Throughout the park’s more than 5,000 acres you’ll find nearly 4,900 acres of old growth forest and more than 70 miles of trails. Various trails are ideal for hiking, cycling and horseback riding, and there are also guided tours through the park. Forest Park is also a popular place for wildlife- and bird-watching, as more than 100 bird and 60 mammal species have been recorded as living in the park.
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There are very few buildings in Forest Park, but one popular place to rest mid-hike along the 30-mile Wildwood Trail is what’s called Stone House. Once a public restroom, it was damaged in a 1962 storm and subsequently became a site for frequent vandalism. So, instead of repairing and maintaining it, officials decided to gut the building.
Forest Park is a Portland treasure, and a fantastic place to spend time in almost any weather.
Location: NW 29th Ave. and Upshur St.