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Family Hikes for Spring Break

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Just because you're staying home for spring break doesn't mean you can't get out on an adventure with your family, Adam Sawyer, author of Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland, OR shared some of his favorite hikes close to home.

Tryon Creek State Park

Tryon Creek State Park is one of the more well known outdoor spots in Portland. The 658-acre natural area is Oregon’s only state park within a major metropolitan area. 8 miles of hiking trails, 3.5 miles of horse trail, 3 miles of paved bike path, and a Nature Center (great for the kids). Trilliums popping out as we speak! (Choose your own hike length)

Forest Park

Without a doubt, Forest Park’s Wildwood Trail is the preeminent hiking path in the city of Portland. It is the most well known trail in the most well known park in town. If you hike in Portland, you’ve been on this trail; and more than likely run into several fellow outdoor lovers in the process.

But remember, the Wildwood Trail stretches the length of Forest Park, the largest forested municipal park in the country. That’s just over 30 miles of potential hiking that can be done on the Wildwood alone. So, have you been to the end? Not where the trail “begins” in Washington Park, but where it ends; off Highway 30 in Linnton. (Choose your own hike length, 3.4 mile out and back to Firelane 15.)

Cape Lookout

For outdoor lovers, Cape Lookout State Park is without a doubt one of the crown jewels of Tillamook County. The park is a well-known haven for camping, fishing, beach strolling, and even hang gliding. It is also home to miles of hiking trails that extend along the beach as well as shorter jaunts through the forest. But the headliner of this show is the hike that journeys the length of the cape itself, reaching two miles out into the Pacific Ocean. It’s also one of the best spots on the coast for whale watching in spring and fall. (4.8-mile out and back with 400 feet of elevation gain.)

Dry Creek Falls

Contrary to its name, Dry Creek flows steadily all year long - especially in spring. From the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead in Cascade Locks, hikers hikers can follow the final stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail to a lightly visited 75-foot waterfall. (4.2 mile out and back with 650 feet of elevation gain)

Hoyt Arboretum (Magnolia Trail)

Located in Washington Park, the Hoyt Arboretum is home to over 2,000 species of trees and plants from all over the world. Far more than just a simple walk through a living museum of trees, there are 12 miles of hiking trails spread out over 189 acres. The paths wind through groups of trees including Larch, Spruce, Oak, and even Sequoia. Aside from the fact that visiting the Arboretum is free, it features a visitors center staffed with highly knowledgeable volunteers. There is a research library, and an assortment of free maps and brochures. There are some places in Portland you want to be at certain times of the year. And the Magnolia Trail in springtime is one of them. A stroll along this path on the right day will take your breath away. (Choose your own hike length.)