Adventure Plan Portland

Portland Adventures within the City and Just Beyond

Multnomah Falls near 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. 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. Hiker on the SCA trail in Marin Headlands with view of the Golden Gate Bridge

    Headlands Over Heels

    People come from all over the world to get a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. Get a dramatic and novel view of the bridge without all the people on this moderate 6-mile hike in the Marin Headlands.

    View
  2. Hiker at Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve hiking amid lupine wildflowers

    Hidden Wilds of Healdsburg

    When you arrive at Healdsburg Ridge Open Space Preserve, you may wonder what could possibly be tucked behind a subdivision. But within minutes of hiking in this 155-acre preserve, the beauty reveals itself: majestic oak trees, wetland, spring wildflowers, and wowing views of the Mayacama Mountains and Russian River.

    View
  3. Hiker on a trail with beautiful green hills and wildflowers on the grasses at Carr Ranch in Contra Costa County

    Carr Ranch

    Can’t decide between an epic hike or a relaxing nature walk? The 8.3-mile Carr Ranch Trail loop in the East Bay’s Contra Costa County is the perfect hike for rugged adventurers with a soft side.

    View
  4. Two women at the entrance of the Lavender Labyrinth at Bees N Blooms in Santa Rosa

    Lavender Labyrinth

    Labyrinths are meditative meanders. Add fragrant organic lavender and you're at Bees N Blooms at the foot of Taylor Mountain near Santa Rosa, experiencing their “ancient pathway of peace” and more.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Urban Hike to the Shakespeare Bridge in LA

    Shakespeare Bridge + Secret Garden

    Romeo, Romeo, we all know how this goes, but do you know how to go to the Shakespeare Bridge and secret gardens? We’ve got the online do-it-yourself hiking route for you.

    View
  2. Hiker overlooking Bear Gulch Reservoir at Pinnacles National Park near Monterey

    Pinnacles of Spring

    Why hike at Pinnacles National Park? Spring's a beautiful time of year here. And you might spy the magnificent California condor soaring while you gain soaring views from the High Peaks Trail.

    View
  3. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

    View
  4. Hikers by the reservoir at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks

    Triumphant in Triunfo

    Go on a hike with a peaceful reservoir, charming meadows, and beautiful spring blooms at Triunfo Creek Park near Thousand Oaks.

    View