Abutting the more manicured Washington Park to the south (to which it is linked by various trails) is the far wilder 5100-acre Forest Park, an urban Northwest forest in the Tualatin Mountains.
The main built sight in the park is Pittock Mansion, a grand mansion built in 1914 by Henry Pittock, who revitalized the Portland-based Oregonian newspaper. It's worth visiting the grounds (which are free to enter) just to check out the spectacular views. Take a picnic.
The Portland Audubon Society maintains a bookstore, wildlife rehabilitation center and 4.5 miles of trails within its Forest Park sanctuary.
The major trail here is the 30-mile hiking trail that runs the length of Forest Park. It’s open to walkers, and dogs on leads. Other shorter walks are signposted with trail markers. Download the Forest Park Trails printable map from the Portland Parks & Recreation website to find out more.
As well as an avid hiking fraternity, Forest Park is an oasis of plants and animals, with ferny shrublands, meadows, evergreen and deciduous forests as well as streams. This ecological diversity sees a mix of wildlife in the park: 100 species of birds, 50 species of mammals, and 400 species of invertebrates. You may come across elk, deer, porcupines, and mountain beavers to name a few. It also draws bird species like bald eagles, great horned owls and hairy woodpeckers. Trees you’ll encounter include firs, big leaf maples, red alders, and Western red cedars.
Parking is limited, but there is information on the Portland Parks & Recreation website on where to park, and car-parking capacity, at each trailhead.