In addition to more than 1,200 miles of trails in Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory is home to over 50 different parks. They range from State Parks to wetlands, Nature Parks to children's playgrounds. We've got urban State Parks located minutes outside of the Portland Metro Area. In the rural valley and mountain areas are the scent-and tactile-oriented Oral Hull Park for the Blind, Milo McIver State Park with its hiker-biker campground, and Wildwood Recreation Area where visitors may enjoy the forest and wetlands from accessible trails, boardwalks and a below-stream viewing window.
The Territory’s parks also provide ample opportunity for structured play. Many parks have ball fields, basketball and tennis courts, playgrounds, covered picnic areas and off-leash areas for dogs. Others offer summertime concerts in the park and nighttime performance events. Still others have disc golf courses, skate parks, spray and play, horseshoes and bocce.
Here are some of our favorites to check out:
Tryon Creek State Park: Explore all 658 acres of second-growth forests all within a stone's throw from downtown Portland. Tryon Creek State Park has everything: hiking, horse and bike trails, an interpretive center and store and a wetland area. The wildlife viewing is also top-notch. Keep your eyes peeled for owls, beavers, woodpeckers and really cute squirrels.
Mary S. Young State Recreation Area: Nestled along the Willamette River, Mary S. Young Recreation Area hits all the park necessities: restrooms, sports fields, an off-leash dog area and forest trails to help you decompress from city life.
Camassia Natural Area: Delight in a burst of spring wildflower color at Camassia Natural Area with blue camas, rosy plectritis and blue-eyed Mary. In June with a camera at the ready, hunt for the rare white rock larkspur that can be found in only six other places in the world.
Mount Talbert Nature Park: An oasis amongst busy streets and shopping centers in Clackamas, Mount Talbert Nature Park is the perfect urban escape. Enjoy the views, quirky wildlife and a 4-mile trail network.
Canemah Bluff Nature Park: Situated above the Willamette River, this park offers gorgeous views of the river as well as trails that wind through a verdant forest. It's easy to forget your moments from the city here, especially when you find yourself amidst a field bursting in wildflowers. There is also a play structure and restrooms located at the entrance to the park.
Newell Creek Canyon Nature Park: The newest park in the Portland region, Newell Creek Canyon's walking and biking trails wind through towering trees. The picnic area is shaded by big leaf maples, and a 20-foot tall waterfall greets visitors who take the Tumble Falls Trail.
Milo McIver State Park: Nestled along the Clackamas River in the town of Estacada, Milo McIver State Park is a water adventurer's haven. You can easily spend a day or a whole week here. Float, paddle or boat along the river, enjoy fishing from the ADA accessible fishing dock or, find a sunny or shady spot to lay out a picnic and enjoy the scenic landscape all around.
Wildwood Recreation Site: Explore more than three miles of ADA-accessible paved trails and boardwalks at Wildwood Recreation Site and discover many more accessible spur trails. The Cascade Streamwatch Trail takes hikers to a viewing window to watch fish, crawdads and other underwater life.
Oral Hull Park for the Blind: Open since 1962, the Hull Park for the Blind offers a variety of recreational activities and camps for those guests who are blind or have low vision. Here you can fish, hike, raft and horseback ride on this 22- acre campus just outside of Sandy, Oregon.
Lizzie Keenan has the lucky job of promoting Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon everyday. When not at work, she enjoys doing yoga with alpacas, taking selfies with llamas, and eating avocados.