With more than 8000 different rose bushes, this Eden-like garden is a haven of peace in the city of Portland. You can walk along the flowery paths, bursting with color from May to July. And you can admire the center of the city from the garden, overlooking Mount Hood. Bring a picnic lunch! Open Daily from 7:30 aM - 9:00 pM
This is a great hike within Portland which boasts a good amount of elevation and great views at the top. It's 3.3 miles round trip with 820 feet of elevation gain. The Marquam Nature Park Shelter Trailhead is a great place to start. Follow the "council crest/4T trail' signs and you wind up through the beautiful Southwest portion of forest park. Some nice houses come to view in the woods, and soon you realize you're in a neighborhood in the hills. You cross a few intersections, keep following the signs and marveling at the houses, and eventually you reach council crest. Council crest is widely known as one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Portland. On a clear day, you can see the mountains beyond Portland. You can also drive up to council crest, but the hike is worth it! It's a quick, family friendly, nice little work out with great rewards. I would recommend this hike if you want to stay close to the city!
Among Portland's numerous parks, this is one of the top ones to check out! It's at the base of the east side of the St. John's bridge; Portland's beloved and magnificent Gothic/cathedral style suspension bridge. It's a large park (23 acres) with multiple paved paths winding around beautiful trees and patches of grass, picnic tables, and even an outdoor stage. There's a small beach on the river and a dock as well. It's a great place to stroll around and enjoy the views of the St. John's bridge, Willamette River, and Forest park just to the west. There are many public events and concerts held here on weekends in the summer. This park is rich in history, as it served as a landing site for Lewis and Clark in the early 1800s. More recently, in the 1970s, the area was transformed from a "junkyard state" into the beautiful park it is today. Grab a cup of good portland coffee, a pastry and take a stroll around in this gem of a park!
Venture into Southeast Portland and you will discover the Rhododendron Garden, adjacent to Reed College. This garden has been deemed by Portland Parks & Rec. as, "One of the world’s finest collections of rhododendrons and azaleas in an idyllic woodland setting." Stroll through seven acres of rare species and hybrid rhododendrons, azaleas, and other lesser known plants and unusual trees. As I walked around, I was blown away with the beauty of the landscaping. A spring-fed lake surrounds the garden, and you walk by 3 waterfalls via 2 beautiful bridges and continue on shaded paths to reach Crystal Springs Lake and fountain spray. 94 species of birds reside in the garden, so there is plenty of birdwatching. The garden has a rich history, and was originally established as a test garden and a site to perform Shakespeare plays on by Reed College Students. It has been preserved by the Portland Parks & Rec. since 1950, and is meticulously maintained year round. The time to see the blooming Rhododendrons is April and May, but the garden itself is beautiful year round.