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Green means go to these parks in Portland

We’re highlighting the best parks that Portland, Oregon, has to offer — complete with roses, fountains, forests, and sports fields.

Mill Ends Park Portland PDX

We’d be remiss to exclude the world’s smallest park — Mill Ends Park — located in the median strip of Southwest Naito Parkway.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Table of Contents

Whether you’re looking for a place to play with the kiddos or to decompress with some off-screen time, Portland features 300+ developed parks and recreational spots for you to enjoy.

Ready to plan your trip to the park? Grab your shades and trusty water bottle — here are some of Rose City’s best:

A person walks down a gravel path through a forest.

Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park encompasses 12 miles of hiking trails through Portland’s “museum of living trees.”

Photo by Ben McBee, PDXtoday

Nature parks

Forest Park, Northwest Portland
No guide to Portland parks would be complete without the inclusion of one of the largest urban forests in the US. Encompassing 5,200 acres, Forest Park offers more than 80 miles of trails with over 40 access points and connects native plants and wildlife to the Oregon Coast Range.

Marquam Nature Park, Southwest Marquam Street and Sam Jackson Park Road
Portland’s third-largest park (204 acres) is a woodland wonderland full of Douglas fir, western hemlock, red cedar, and bigleaf maples. A 7-mile hiking trail within its boundaries is part of the 4T and is also an important link in the 40-Mile Loop system.

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Southeast Seventh Avenue and Sellwood Boulevard
This 163-acre area on the east bank of the Willamette River is home to meadows, woodlands, and wetlands rich with migratory and resident wildlife. Oaks Bottom provides habitat for threatened salmon and over 175 bird species. Visit the “Tadpole Pond” to see young frogs and salamander larvae April-June.

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Help maintain the Irving Park nature patch by signing up to volunteer at a stewardship work party every Thursday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Powell Butte Nature Park, 16160 SE Powell Blvd.
The park’s namesake is an extinct cinder cone volcano rising near the headwaters of Johnson Creek. Explore more than 600 acres of meadowland and forest via trails open to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders.

Tryon Creek State Natural Area, 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd.
Portland’s only state park offers miles of trails for horseback riders, hikers, and bicyclists. It’s also home to Trillium Trail — a fully accessible, 0.3-mile paved path with benches and viewing decks.

Irving Park, Northeast Seventh Avenue and Fremont Street
Perfect for leaf peeping in the fall, Irving Park has it all: baseball, soccer, and softball fields, basketball courts, lighted tennis courts, restrooms, play structures, and off-leash dog areas. It also has something many other parks don’t — nature patches. These areas are protected from foot traffic and have a distinctly wild look, functioning as rain gardens and urban wildlife habitats.

Dozens of people look at flowering trees covered in pink blossoms with a bridge in the background.

The Akebono cherry trees at Tom McCall Waterfront Park were gifted to Portland by Japan in 1990.

Photo by Ben McBee, PDXtoday

Family parks

Commonwealth Lake Park, Southwest Butner Road and Huntington Avenue
Walk or bike the flat, paved trail around Commonwealth Lake where ducklings are a common springtime sight. The lake attracts a range of bird species and is stocked with trout, making it a popular destination for birders and anglers.

Gabriel Park, Southwest 45th Avenue and Vermont Street
This state-of-the-art park is perfect for the entire family, with a skatepark, inclusive playground, accessible parking lot, two off-leash dog areas, and a nature patch (found across from the community garden and orchard).

Laurelhurst Park, Southeast Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard and Stark Street
Named to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, this park is known for its unparalleled landscaping and beauty. A 3-acre lake at its center hosts thousands of fish, ducks, and turtles. Amenities include accessible picnic and play areas, restrooms, paved and dirt paths, off-leash dog area, and various athletic courts.

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Dawson Park was named after Episcopal minister Rev. John Dawson, an advocate of child welfare and civic improvement in the 1920s.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Southwest Naito Parkway
The downtown riverfront park hosts some of the city’s biggest annual events. It features a large fountain with changing water patterns, a memorial plaza with iconic flowering cherry trees, and paths popular with joggers, skaters, bikers, and walkers.

Washington Park, Southwest Portland
“The crown jewel of Portland” spans 410 acres and includes some of the city’s most beloved spaces: the Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose Test Garden, and the Portland Japanese Garden.

Kenton Park, 8417 N. Brandon Ave.
The play area at this open, 12-acre park in the Kenton neighborhood was fully renovated and updated in 2018 and now features accessible structures, an adaptive swing, a splash pad, and sensory elements. It’s also dog friendly (on leash) and has basketball courts and fields for softball and soccer.

Dawson Park, North Stanton Street and Williams Avenue
Many special features are packed into this tidy, 2-acre urban oasis that was once a cow pasture, like a gazebo, a public art installation by Isaka Shamsud-Din, an accessible play area, an outdoor stage, and a dozen boulders bearing inscriptions of historical stories.

Two dogs play in a river on a sunny fall day with city buildings in the distance.

Water-loving dogs can swim to their heart’s content at Sellwood Riverfront Park.

Photo by Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Dog parks

Alberta Park, 5751 NE 22nd Ave.
The park’s nearly 1.5-acre off-leash area offers shade, grass, and space covered with bark mulch to prevent muddy paws. Dogs that tend to run away when the leash comes off should visit a different park — this space is unfenced.

Council Crest Park, Southwest Council Crest Drive
There’s plenty of space to roam and run at the 2-acre off-leash area located on the south side of the park. On a clear day, the park — which sits at 1,073 ft above sea level — offers views of Mount St. Helens, Hood, Adams, and Rainier.

Fernhill Park, 4050 NE Holman St.
With 4 acres of off-leash play area, you can enjoy a game of fetch with your pup or let them run free and burn energy with other furry friends. Be aware that the off-leash area is not fenced and is close to a busy street, but there are plenty of on-leash places to explore within the 26-acre park.

Mount Tabor Park, 2219 SE 68th Ave.
A 4-acre off-leash area at the bottom of the hill (on the south side) is the perfect spot for your dog to burn off pent-up energy. Pups that love to run will enjoy sprinting up and down the sloping dirt paths.

Normandale Park, Northeast 57th Avenue and Halsey Street
The fully fenced 1.5-acre run has separate areas for small and large dogs so everyone can get along and have fun. Water and waste bags are available on site and trees provide shade/rain protection.

Sellwood Riverfront Park, 1221 SE Oaks Park Way
The 1.5-acre off-leash area has access to water for dogs to swim safely. After splashing around, take your leashed pup down one of the paved paths to dry off.

Wallace Park, Northwest 25th Avenue and Raleigh Street
An off-leash area at the northeast end of the park has a barrier, double-gate system, and fresh water. The ground can be muddy during rainy weather.

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Harney Park was one of several Portland parks to receive basketball court glow-ups.

Photo via Portland Parks and Recreation

Sports parks

Note: Sports fields can be reserved by calling Portland Parks and Recreation at 503-823-2525.

Arbor Lodge Park, North Bryant Street and Delaware Avenue
Gather up your friends or community teams for some baseball, softball, or soccer. Or sweat it out on the lighted tennis courts.

Elizabeth Caruthers Park, 3508 S. Moody Ave.
Bring your bocce gear to play a round (or several) on the court at this 2-acre urban park that also features a splash pad.

Harney Park, Southeast 67th Avenue and Harney Street
Shoot some hoops at the basketball courts which were given a professional makeover with the help of Nike and the Trail Blazers in 2022. There are also soccer and softball fields.

Luuwit View Park, Northeast 127th Avenue and Fremont Street
There’s plenty of room for a range of athletic activities at this 15-acre park featuring a skate spot, climbing wall, basketball courts, ping pong area, and soccer field.

Delta Park - Owens Sports Complex, 10737 N. Union Court
No less than seven softball fields and nine soccer fields (four with artificial turf) are available at this sprawling park within easy reach of Interstate 5 and Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Your park grab bag

Picked your perfect park? Make the most out of your experience with our favorite items for a relaxing day outside:

  • Is there anything quite like sitting in the shade and enjoying a good book? Check out our guide to books by local authors to help choose your next great read.
  • The Kindle Paperwhite is a lightweight e-reader option that stands up to bright sunlight.
  • A good water bottle keeps you hydrated — we’re big fans of the best-selling Owala FreeSip + this insulated stackable tumbler from Asheville NC-based retailer Pirani.
  • Heading to the park with kids? Check out the Owala FreeSip for kids.
  • Don’t forget the travel-size bug spray and sunscreen.
  • These sunglasses from Nordstrom Rack are available at discount prices + have a style for everyone.
  • Keep it all together in a handy tote bag — these adorable tote bags are all crafted by small businesses and local makers.

Ready to visit these local parks but don’t know where to start? We’ve created this handy map so you can find all of these featured parks.

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