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There is no shortage of options when it comes to hiking in and around Portland.
Escape Time: 15 – 60 minutes
Eagle Creek (Easy – Moderate, 4.2 miles to Punchbowl Falls or Difficult, 12 miles to Tunnel Falls) : One of the most popular routes outside of the city, this trail is just as good in fall and winter as it is in summer. An autumn hike will get you changing fall colors and summer gets you the opportunity to take a dip under Punchbowl Falls.
Angel’s Rest (Moderate, 4.8 miles roundtrip): The 1,450 feet of elevation gain is well worth it for striking views of the Columbia Gorge.
Pittock Mansion (Moderate, 5 miles round trip): If you’re looking for a hike right in town, this one’s for you. One of the best known hikes in Forest Park, start at the Lowery Macleay Park Trailhead and make your way up through the park trails to the classic Victorian-era mansion. You’ll be rewarded with an killer view over downtown Portland.
Timberline Trail (Difficult, 40.4 miles roundtrip): This is a multi-day trip that takes you around Mount Hood and is great for summer and early fall. You’ll get views of the nearest Cascade volcanoes: Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson and Three Sisters. If you don’t have time to do the entire route, take a day trip to Timberline Lodge and explore a section of the trail.
Escape Time: 10-60 minutes
Payoff: Bike paths, river and mountain views, fresh air
All Around Portland: Urban riding in Portland never gets old. There’s an entire network of bike paths and streets that make exploring the city on two wheels easier than ever. Local shops like Pedal Bike Tours also offer guided velo tours of the city. Need a guide to biking in Portland? Local cycling queens Elly Blue and Meaghan Sinnott have the zine just for you: PDX By Bike, a complete guide to helping Portland visitors navigate the city on two wheels. Grab a copy before exploring the cycling metropolis.
Springwater Corridor/Eastback Esplanade (length varies, up to 33 miles): Plenty of Portland bike commuters ride a section of the Springwater Corridor everyday, but you can commit to exploring all or some of this trail system that includes 18 miles of mostly paved, multi-use bike path.
Marine Drive (Moderate, 2-17 miles): Marine Drive is a bike path that takes you along the Columbia River and out towards the airport. You can access it from North and Northeast Portland. Team it with a ride through St. Johns and you’ll get a complete look at the north end of town.
Escape time: 60-90 minutes
Payoff: Heavy waves, gorgeous Pacific Northwest beaches, bragging rights to surfing in cold Pacific water
Don a wet suit and hit up some of Oregon’s favorite spots. Start with Ecola State Park, just north of Cannon Beach and work your way south to Oswald West State Park followed by the charming beach town of Manzanita.
Escape Time: 15-30 minutes
Payoff: Calm paddling, good lunch spots with great views
Put in at Sellwood Riverfront Park and paddle north around Ross Island, a four-island cluster in the Willamette River that plenty of ospreys, eagles and herons call home. On the north side of the island paddle up to the beach and enjoy a picnic lunch overlooking the city.
Sauvie Island – Sturgeon Lake
A wildlife area in close proximity to the urban metropolis makes Sauvie Island a popular destination. While the waterways around the island have a lot of larger boat traffic, Sturgeon Lake is a calmer alternative and you can put in at the boat launch. If you don’t want to deal with planning your route, check out the Sauvie Island kayaking trip from Next Adventure Kayak School.
Escape Time: 1 hour
Payoff: The opportunity to hit the water in the windsurfing capital of the world.
Hood River: Just a quick drive east of Portland, you’ll find the windsurfing capital of the world. Hit up one of the local shops for both rentals and lessons. To get started check out the Columbia Gorge Windsurfing Association.
Escape Time: 15-30 minutes
Payoff: Muddy trails, local street cred, a rigorous workout
With over 70 miles of trails, Forest Park is the go to spot for trail runners. Start with the classic Leif Erikson Drive or check out the Forest Park Conservancy which has an excellent selection of maps that will help you figure out just where you want to go.
Close to the popular Hawthorne and Belmont neighborhoods you’ll find Mount Tabor, a popular urban sanctuary that’s ideal for an afternoon trail run. Start at 60th & Salmon and explore the many wooded trails. Note that this is a popular park and if you’re looking for a quiet run alone it might not be your best bet.
In Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge you can get in a short 3.6 mile loop that takes you through the refuge and gives you great views of the Willamette River.
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