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.

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  1. Woman hiking the Coastal Trail in the Marin Headlands

    Three Beaches to the Wind

    This beautiful 7-mile (round-trip) coastal hike in the Marin Headlands connects three beaches: Muir Beach, Pirates Cove, and Tennessee Cove.

  2. Damme Good Camping

    Just a few miles south of the town of Mendocino is one of the best hike-in (or bike-in) campgrounds on the California coast. Van Damme State Park follows Little River inland from the ocean, and the nine first-come, first-served environmental campsites can be reached via the Fern Canyon Trail.

  3. Hike Mount Tamalpais Matt Davis Steep Ravine Dipsea to Stinson Beach

    Tam Slam!

    This 8-mile (round-trip) hike is a pure classic, with redwoods, water-flows, and soaring views of the coastline. Oh yeah, and that ladder!

  4. Calaveras Giants

    Contending as some of the tallest, mightiest, and most muscular spectacles in the state are the hulking (and beautiful) trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Hit the trails to witness spectacular groves of giant sequoia redwoods.


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  1. Sponsored

    Best of the Summer Fests!

    Outdoor winery events featuring films, food, wine, live music, and Sonoma’s cinematic scenery in the background: now that’s a blockbuster summer weekend!

  2. Hiker on Proctor Mountain Loop Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

    Storied Trail

    If ever there was a fairy trail, this 6.8-mile lollipop loop on Sun Valley’s Proctor Mountain is it. The Proctor Mountain Trail is a storied route in more ways than one, starting with its tranquil oasis memorial for a famous writer, Ernest Hemingway.

  3. Two bikers on the Wood River Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

    Two Wheels to Zen

    The family-friendly Wood River Trail goes over an historic bridge, past art sculptures and ranch-roaming horses, all amid sprawling green valley and a mountainous backdrop. Roll out from the Farmers Market at River Run Lodge and pedal the 8-mile (round-trip) ride to Sun Valley’s Sawtooth Botanical Garden.

  4. This Part of the Backbone

    The Ray Miller Trail comprises the final stretch of the Backbone Trail in Malibu’s Point Mugu State Park, and makes an idyllic moderate beach hike during spring and early summer.