Adventure Plan Portland

Portland Adventures within the City and Just Beyond

With the Willamette River running through it and Mt. Hood rising crisply on the horizon, Portland is well-known for its exceptional food, coffee, culture, and beer scene. But it’s also an ideal basecamp for branching out into nature and a bevy of outdoor adventures within city limits and just beyond. Find some fabulous guided adventures. For more inspiration, check out the “Oregon, Only Slightly Exaggerated” film for a glimpse of some of Portland’s beloved people and places, and to discover its secrets and marquee must-dos.

Portland Patio Style

Portland Farmers Market

Portland Beer and dog

Portland Biketown

Food carts, farmers markets, tasty local eateries, and award-winning restaurants (James Beard was born here, just sayin’) … Portland is famous for eclecticism in both food and drink. It’s got platefuls of al fresco dining including deliciously creative food trucks everywhere. Beer enthusiasts, take note: Portland has the world’s highest concentration of craft breweries. What’s your choice: sour, hazy, IPA … why don’t you just try them all by renting a bike from BIKETOWN or booking a BeerQuest Walking tour.

Biking Portland

Forest of Dreams

Forest Park Wildwood Trail

At 5,200 acres, Forest Park is among the largest urban oases in the country—vast enough to fit six Central Parks. It’s where locals regularly go for the ultimate nature escape. The marquee path here is the 30-mile Wildwood Trail, accessed at various entry points. There’s a new and picturesque pedestrian bridge to enjoy on a 3-mile (round-trip) hike from the Hoyt Arboretum to Pittock Mansion. To discover more gems and secret spots within the park, go on a free guided Discovery Hike with the Forest Park Conservancy.

Explore Portland's Forest Park

On the Rails

Banks Vernonia State Trail

Banks Vernonia State Trail

Just west of Portland, Oregon’s first rail-to-trail system is a car-free, 21-mile scenic marvel for walkers, bikers, strollers, and wheelchair users. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail (BVT) is a tree-lined and riparian former railway system that was reconceptualized as a nature trail powered by the human spirit. It’s accessible via six entry points and runs south to north from Banks to Vernonia. The route includes thirteen old bridges—including the impressive 733-foot-long Buxton Trestle.

Cycle the Banks-Vernonia State Trail

Go with the Flow

Willamette Falls

Just 13 miles south of Portland, the state’s first capital, Oregon City—backed by the snowy and enigmatic Mt. Hood—marks the end of the Oregon Trail. The beer pubs aren’t the only highlights to get things flowing here. You’ll also find the wondrous Willamette Falls, the second largest waterfall in the country by volume and an important historic and cultural site for Indigenous peoples. The Museum of the Oregon Territory overlooks the falls.

Scappoose Bay

Standup Paddle Scappoose Bay

Kayak Scappoose Bay

North of Portland at the edge of the town of St. Helens, the wetlands of Scappoose Bay are absolutely ideal for beginner-friendly paddling. You don’t have to worry about crowds—there’s 85,000 acres encompassing small islands and side channels. Tours launch from Scappoose Bay Paddling Center, and it’s pure relaxation as you glide past grassy marshes on this sublime stretch of the Lower Columbia River Water Trail. Book a guided trip with Next Adventure’s Scappoose Bay Paddling Center.

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Big Wave Hiking

    Pillar Point Bluff's amazing trail system is a coastal haven most popular for being the best spot to watch the famed Mavericks surf break in winter. But this place is beautiful year round for hiking.

    View
  2. Barnabe Bonanza

    Sure, there are higher mountains in Marin (Mount Tam) and easier ascents (Mount Burdell), but is there a more expansive North Bay view? Barnabe Peak in Samuel P. Taylor State Park offers a glorious panorama including Mount Tam, Mount Diablo, and Mount St. Helena.

    View
  3. Sweet and Salty

    Located on Highway 1 about 18 miles north of Jenner, Salt Point State is wild, scenic, and one of the most beautiful places to do some classic coastal camping.

    View
  4. Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Secret Stair Master!

    Step up to a wonderful 2-mile, nearly 1000-step workout in peaceful Pasadena that is part leg labor, part suburban stroll, and all serene secret.

    View
  2. Sponsored

    Adventure Plan Portland

    With the Willamette River running through it and Mt. Hood rising crisply on the horizon, Portland is well-known for its exceptional food, coffee, culture, and beer scene. But it’s also an ideal basecamp for branching out into nature and a bevy of outdoor adventures within city limits and just beyond.

    View
  3. Hidden Stairway in Silver Lake

    Life in Los Angeles can be vibrant in so many ways, including stairways! This hidden stairway hike in Silver Lake features colorfully artistic and historic steps via 1.5 miles, four unique staircases, and countless local food options for a bite to eat.

    View
  4. Hidden Trio

    A trio of hidden canyons is often found in more remote places, but they're also on this urban walk in the serene hills of eastside’s Mount Washington. Head here for a beautiful 7-mile (round-trip) neighborhood tour of historic homes, ample greenspace, and, yes, three hidden canyons.

    View