If there’s anything that can rival coffee and beer for a space in a Portlander’s heart, it’s a great hike with a good dog. There are countless options—from the coast to the gorge. There’s no need to leave city limits to find a stunning trail where your four-legged companion is welcome.
Here are five we especially love:
The Wildwood Trail
America’s longest forested urban trail meanders for 30.2 miles through Forest Park. Leashed dogs are welcome here and you can even buy your pup an “I Heart Forest Park” leash
. No matter which starting point you choose, you’ll be rewarded with gorgeous greenery and breathtaking views. Check out this handy map for a trailhead near you. Still not sure? Start at the beginning near the zoo and aim for the views at Pittock Mansion. As with most Wildwood sections, this 6.4-mile stretch is a great option with a friend when you can leave a car at each end.
Have you tried out a Discovery Hike
yet with our friends from Forest Park Conservancy? Answer the call of the wild, feel the sunshine on your skin, and let the rustle of the trees be the soundtrack to your next adventure. Take the long way home and discover the world around you with Forest Park Conservancy and The Carson
Powell Butte Summit Loop
Head to this extinct cinder cone volcano on a clear, sunny day and you’ll be rewarded with views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Ranier, Mt. Adams and Mt. Jefferson. Yes, that’s a lot of mountains! Luckily they’ve built a mountain finder
you can consult so you know which is which. There’s a big parking lot, bathrooms and drinking fountains at the entrance making this a fairly luxurious option. The trail is paved for the first .7 miles to get you easily to the mountain finder, and unpaved but well maintained after that.
Oaks Bottom Loop Hike
We love this one because it gets us over to Sellwood, a charming neighborhood that we often forget to visit. And really, on what other hike do you get to see the largest mural
in the country (on the back of a mausoleum no less) and a picturesque ferris wheel
along with 185 species of birds, countless cottonwoods and a tadpole pond? This 3.8-mile shaded trail is a great option on hot days. Be sure to watch for poison oak along the border in some sections and keep Fido on a short leash. While the oil might not bother him, it can transfer from his fur to your hand during that next belly rub!
Tryon Creek State Natural Area
This forested park is smack dab in the middle of SW Portland and has 8 miles of on-leash dog-friendly hiking trails. You’ll sometimes have to share the trails with school groups and camps, but the volunteers who lead these programs are so impressive it’s worth it to linger and listen.
East Esplanade Loop
The cherry trees should be blooming any day now and that’s when you want to do this urban 7.9-mile stroll. This is also a great walk to do with out-of-town guests on a Saturday. Take in eight of Portland’s bridges and end at the Saturday Market to peruse local crafts and enjoy some food truck delights. Just be sure your doggo is ok with crowds. In a mellower mood? Shorten it to 4.7 miles by cutting out the section along the Willamette Greenway and opt for a picnic at Poet’s Beach instead of the market.