There seems to be endless hiking trails in and around Portland, Oregon and a towering list of books that will map out every path and byway you can hike on but with so many to choose from how can you pick a few to take a gamble on? We thought it would be helpful to compile a list of 5, easy to moderate level hiking pathways and trails in Portland. Five of our favorite Portland hiking trails that are simple to trek and yet easy to get to, in and around Portland metro.
Grab your hiking boots and a cold water bottle and then let’s hit the trails. This might make the perfect weekend day trip for you and your family. You may not want to drive a long distance to reach a remote hiking spot or end up walking a trail that would take a survivalist three days to reach the end. So tie your sneakers or boots and let’s head out to some easy Portland trails that the whole family will enjoy and your gas tank will thank you too.
We are including in our coolest hiking trail list, trails from Beaverton, Tualatin, Sherwood, Bridal Veil, and Vancouver, WA.
Hyland Woods Trail – Beaverton
Hyland Woods Trail is a great Beaverton hiking trail with 1.85 miles of soft surface trails in a forested park just shy of 30 acres. This Beaverton trail is a perfect hiking option for a family with smaller children since the trail is manageable in length for smaller strides and the park has an innovative nature play area. This Beaverton park encourages visitors in the area to build log forts and interact with nature, which we think is pretty cool!
Westside Trail – Tualatin
Westside Trail was originally called the Beaverton Powerline Trail Corridor and is now constructed to run from the Tigard city limits to the Tualatin Hills Nature Park with 6 miles of almost continuous pathways. It is slated to be continued and run a complete 25 miles but that might take a bit of planning for the future. The final trail will extend from the Tualatin River (near King City) to the Willamette River just outside of Portland’s Industrial neighborhood.
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge – Sherwood
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge is a lowlands sanctuary in Sherwood, OR and contains about 2 acres of wetlands. The refuge was created for the protection of the wetland area and upland habitats for a variety of migratory birds and threatened wildlife and fish. The refuge is called home to nearly 200 birds and more than 70 other animal species.
This Sherwood hiking trail is a wonderful bird watching and nature hike location that is guided on 5 miles of flat, soft paths that makes it easy for any level of hiker to accomplish. You can also visit the visitor center when you arrive to gather additional information about the grounds or which trails are open for the season, plus walk along the observation deck next to the center for scenic views of the wetlands and pond. You might even catch a glimpse of the resident bald eagles that have nested in this protected refuge.
Every season seems to have a different wildlife event that is unfolding for any avid hiker to explore. Even in the winter, you can find up to 50,000 waterfowl when the officials flood various portions of the refuge.
Angels Rest – Bridal Veil
Angels Rest Trail is more for the intermediate hiker, hiking group and/or family. This hike could be slightly more challenging primarily for the steeper terrain and the switchback path you must travel along to reach the crest at the top. You must use caution at the crest as well, because of the steep cliff edge. The view is worth the climb though with a 270-degree view of the Columbia River Gorge. The anticipation of the breathtaking panoramic vision of blue water below will keep you pushing forward as you travel up the trail. The length of the hike is more than reasonable at 2.4 miles but if you are looking for a more adventurous trail you can easily increase that distance by an additional 6 miles by continuing on to Devil’s Rest Trail through a short junction of hiking trails.
Salmon Creek Trail – Vancouver, WA
Salmon Creek Trail is a paved 10-foot wide trail so if you are looking for an easy hiking path this one is for you! Located right in Vancouver, WA it starts in a forestry location just minutes from city life and winds you through wetlands and a creek for about 3 miles. There is a trail junction halfway around 1.5 miles that makes a perfect turnaround area if you are seeking a shorter stroll. While you are walking along this trail you will have access to the Salmon Creek Trail Park and Klineline Pond as well. You will be enveloped in the natural wildlife of the area; deer, rabbits, raccoons, beavers, and many varieties of birds. Look for the wood duck boxes up in the trees as you walk along. Wood ducks are a very essential part of wetland preservation. The female wood ducks primarily build their nests in tree cavities but she will also use nesting boxes.
Those are five local hiking trails that anyone can enjoy whether you are a beginner to hiking or an experienced hiking adventurer. They are all just a short distance from downtown Portland making them easy hiking destinations that can be hiked within a few hours. Even if you have other things planned for the day or just prefer to take a short walk surrounded by the peacefulness and beauty of nature, these Portland area hiking trails are great options.
Let us know of any other local and family-friendly hiking trails that you have explored and would like to share. Enjoy your day on Portland area trails!