In the city with one of the largest urban forests in the country, you don’t need to venture far to escape the bustle of downtown and recharge in nature. But what about escaping crowds, too? There are places in and around Portland where you can still get away from it all and go off the beaten path within an hour of the city. Whether it’s chasing lesser-known waterfalls or finding the perfect sunset perch, here’s where KEEN Footwear employees go to make the most of sunny fall days around here:
1. Powell Butte Nature Park
Powell Butte is one of those places that most Portlanders know about but is often overlooked as folks head to the Gorge, Mt. Hood, or the Coast Range to be immersed in nature. Once you are there and taking in this natural oasis with big sky views within Portland city limits, you’ll probably find yourself wondering why you don’t come more often—to fly a kite, ride your bike, or hike the trails with a view of as many as eight nearby peaks on a clear day. (Pro tip: It’s a perfect spot to introduce hiking to your littlest family members.)
2. Forest Park
Ridge Trail and Pittock Mansion Trail both offer great vistas and tend to be less crowded than other Forest Park hikes. The Ridge Trail is the quieter of the two and with 900 feet of elevation gain over 3.5 miles, it’s a bit more challenging... but rewards hikers with a view of the picturesque St. Johns Bridge.
3. Gateway Green
It’s not often that you can exit public transportation and find yourself in the middle of a wild space. But it’s waiting for you roughly ¼ mile from the Gateway Transit Center. Sandwiched between two interstate highways, it’s an ingenious use of open space that has been turned into a multi-use park with single-track trails for off-road cycling. As you hike or ride around the park through forest and wildflowers, it’s hard to believe a MAX train and highway are just steps away.
4. Lacamas Lake
Mention Lacamas Lake and many Portlanders might not even know what side of town it’s on. Tucked away north of Camas, Washington, it’s only about 30 minutes outside the city. The 7-mile Lacamas Heritage Trail is well-liked for its peaceful setting along a creek, amenities, and easy parking. The lake is also a great place to bring a kayak or SUP (stand up paddle board) and take in the natural setting from the water.
5. Dougan Falls
Located about an hour outside Portland, this Washougal River swimming hole is well-known to Washington locals, but it’s a bit off the radar for PDXers. A great place to take advantage of the warmer days of fall with a picnic or swim in the mountain runoff.
Whether fall outings take you to lakes, streets, or peaks, you can find footwear for every adventure at the Portland KEEN Garage in the heart of the Pearl District. Driven by a passion for life outside, KEEN is a values-led, family-owned brand that’s on a mission to improve lives, inspire outside adventure, and create original and versatile footwear for trail, travel, work, and around town. Stop by to find the right fit and a recommended place to hike or play around Portland.