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This facelift on the east bank of the Willamette River gives walkers an intimate experience with the waterfront. The 1.5 mile (2 km) walkway- one of the longest floating walkways in the United States- stretches along the river between the Hawthorne and Steel bridges. Along a walk or bicycle ride, you will take in views of downtown and the current events taking place across the river on the west bank at Waterfront Park. There are also old-fashioned lamps, sculptures and scripts describing Portland's great shipping history along the way.
Willamette Jetboat Excursions is an exciting journey that takes you up and down the Willamette River for a two-hour, 37-mile (59 kilometer) boat ride. You will not have the usual slow rolling tour, this boat is fast and you do end up covering quite a bit of the river. Comfortable seats and a smooth ride make it fun. Some sights are incredible, like the plunging falls where the upper Willamette meets the lower part of the river. Also, you could get a glimpse of marine mammals, reptiles and exotic birds on the ride, so keep a keen eye throughout the excursion. This boat ride is one the quintessential experiences of Portland.
This 24.5-mile (39.5 kilometer) trail leads you through the city. Starting at the World Forestry Center, the trail strings together some of Portland's best nature attractions, Hoyt Arboretum, the Audubon Society and Forest Park. The terrain depends on what portion of the trail you tackle, from the very hilly area of Washington Park to the more gradual ten northern-most miles of the trail. Maps are available at the trail head. For outdoor lovers, a hike along these trail comes most recommended, as you are sure to capture scenic vistas along with occasional encounters of exotic plants and birds.
Nature lovers will find their own piece of wild in the city when they visit Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Located on the east bank of the Willamette River, adjacent to the Sellwood District, this 163-acre (65 hectare) wildlife refuge attracts a variety of ducks, blue herons and raptors. Hiking trails lead you through the refuge where you can observe these birds in a natural setting. It is hard to believe that part of this refuge sits atop a sanitation landfill. The birds do not seem to mind and you will not either once you catch a glimpse of this scenic natural area. While you are in this area you may also want to visit Oaks Park. There are no fees to use this refuge.
Nature is close enough to really enjoy in this metropolitan state park just minutes outside of downtown. Walking, hiking, equestrian and bicycle trails wind along the creek and through the canyon forested with native plants. Bird watching is also very popular at this 645-acre (261 hectare) arboreal oasis. Tryon Creek State Park is easily accessible to the disabled. The Nature House is filled with souvenirs and offers tours as well as day camps. Come spring, the park sees the plant-oriented Trillium Festival. Admission is free.
This trail provides a close look at animals, vegetation and history of the state. Travel by foot or bicycle along Johnson Creek and take in the sights from a wildlife refuge to the Columbia Brickworks, where bricks for some of Portland's oldest buildings were made. Started in 1906, the factory is still producing 150 different kinds of brick. Sweet Oregon blackberries may be picked and eaten in late summer. The trail runs parallel to an old rail route and has several scenic lookouts dotted throughout its 21 mile (33 kilometer) stretch.
An oasis of greenery in the scenic environs of Northwest Portland, this municipal park's topography is defined by the slopes and opaque old-growth forests that are sustained by the Tualatin Mountains. A large establishment as far as urban parks go, these protected lands are spread over 5,100 acres (2,064 hectares) that are dotted with relatively-even pathways and trails for hiking and bicycling, which make virtually every nook and corner of the park easily-accessible. A landscape of diverse and complex ecosystems, these forests are home to the hairy woodpecker, Pacific jumping mouse, orange-crowned warbler, northern pygmy-owl among many others. A paradise for plant lovers, the park grounds are bejeweled with exotic Hooker's fairy bells, evergreen violets and English ivy.