Back in August, National Geographic Adventure named Portland one of America’s best cities for hiking, and we concur. The Willamette Valley is phenomenal for those who want to get up in nature’s business, and if you’re willing to drive a little way there are some great spots outside of city limits. In fact, this is the perfect time to get outside and soak up the last few weeks of dry trails and afternoons that don’t require a rain coat or umbrella.
This spot is close to the heart of most Portland natives who spent time at Hoyt during school field trips. As an adult, it’s a great afternoon hiking spot thanks to the maintained and organized trails, though it can be a bit difficult to find parking during Saturday and Sundays.
Silver Falls State Park
For a weekend day hike, Silver Falls is perfect, though requires a drive to Salem. There are very few reasons to go there, but The Canyon Trail is one of them. The park has a lot of options for hikers of all levels, but is not ideal for kids. Make sure to check their website before you go, to insure that the section you’d like to hike is open.
Falls Creek Falls
This trail leads you around one of the prettiest waterfalls in Portland. Until December 1st, this area is open but much less crowded after October. The 6.2 miles are moderately difficult so be sure that if you head to the falls, you have appropriate gear and clothing.
If you rarely hike because you get bored, Triple Falls might make a believer out of you. The loop is interesting in terms of both scenery and terrain. It’s a shorter loop, at a little over three miles, so it’s easy to fit in during a morning or afternoon. This is definitely a good hike for groups since the trails are wide.
This seven-mile loop is considered difficult, but the trail is often full of families and groups of hikers. Ramona Falls is an incredible 120-foot waterfall that is absolutely breathtaking. It’s a pretty stellar photo spot so if you’re good behind a camera, this place is a must-see before the season ends at the end of October.