Parks and Gardens

Like a lot of American cities today, Portland takes seriously the creation and preservation of open space in what might otherwise be crowded, dreary urban environments. Of course, we have tons of neighborhood parks. Here are a few we like:

Washington Park

Rose from Rose Test Garden
Rose in the International Rose Test Garden

One of the city’s oldest parks (formed in 1871) is home to the Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center, International Rose Test Garden, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland Children’s Museum, and the Portland Japanese Garden — all major attractions. Explore Washington Park, a non-profit, provides the details on its website.

Forest Park

From the Forest Park Conservancy: “At 5,200 acres, Portland’s Forest Park is one of the largest urban forests in the United States. With more than 80 miles of trails, fire lanes, and forest roads, Forest Park stretches for more than seven miles along the eastern slope of the Tualatin Mountains, overlooking Northwest Portland and the convergence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.

If you are a first-time user of Forest Park, you can read more about park hours, rules and history by clicking here and see a map of all of the trailheads by clicking here.

If you have any questions about Forest Park, please call us at 503-223-5449 or email us at info@forestparksonservancy.org.”

South Park Blocks

London Planetree
This London Planetree, a Portland Heritage Tree is located along the  South Park Blocks near the art museum.

This greenbelt, set aside for public use in 1852, is the city’s first park — or parks if you count each block. Here you will find the Portland Art Museum, Oregon Historical Society, Portland State University, and Portland’5 Centers for the Arts. 

The South Park Blocks in downtown Portland, set aside for public use in 1852, are the city’s first parks — forming a green corridor through the cultural heart of the city. Surrounded by the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Historical Center, Portland’5 Centers for the Arts and Portland State University, the blocks are a lovely garden backdrop for Portland’s lectures, concerts, and collections.

Pearl District Parks

The Pearl, once a manufacturing center, is now home to condos, apartments and trendy restaurants and shops. By one estimate, there are about 6,000 people living in nearly 60 buildings spread through the area. Besides the food, pub, and shopping choices, there are three parks of note.

  • Fremont Bridge at The Fields Park
    Fremont Bridge at The Fields Park

    The Fields Park – a big open space used by local residents for exercise, dog-walking, and home to city-wide festivals, you get a wonderful view of Portland’s iconic Fremont Bridge.

  • Jamison Square – with its stunning water feature and public art — along with people-watching — this may be one of the best urban parks ever, only possibly rivaled by his nearby cousin, Tanner Springs Park.
  • Tanner Springs Park walkway
    Tanner Springs Park walkway

    Tanner Springs Park – with a natural spring flowing through it, waterfowl dropping in and benches among natural grasses and twisting walkways, you could feel like you are far away from the city.