If you're looking for a way to get outside and enjoy the fresh air with your family in Portland, consider going on a hike! The Portland area is home to some of the most beautiful trails in the country! There's a trail for every skill level but I'm going to share five hikes that are great for families. So lace up your boots, grab a picnic lunch, and get ready for adventure!
Silver Falls State Park
If you're looking for a day hike that's exciting for the whole family, then head to Silver Falls State Park. This park is home to ten different waterfalls, and the trails range from easy to difficult. To make it easier but with the highest reward, just do the upper loop! Park at North Falls Trailhead (get there early or parking will be full!!) and hike the upper loop (but maybe detour slightly to get in a few more waterfalls). You get to see most of the park's waterfalls on this trail and it's an easy loop. Then you can always drive down to the south falls and quickly check that out if you don't want to miss it. It's right next to the parking lot. Make sure to wear good hiking shoes that won't slip because the trail is going to be wet.
Tom McCall Preserve
Tom McCall Preserve in Mosier, Oregon is one of my favorite family-friendly hikes close to Portland. It's absolutely stunning in the springtime because of all the wildflowers that pop up everywhere, so that is when I suggest checking this place out (although it's gorgeous at any time). The weather is mild that time of year, but usually windy so dress accordingly. There are a lot of cliffs here, so if you have a child who tends to run off, maybe save this one for when they get a bit older. Be sure to check out any off-shoots of the trail because they lead to some spectacular views! The shorter and easier hike is located on the west side of the preserve. No dogs are allowed here, so leave the pets at home for this one.
Steigerwald Lake Wildlife Refuge
If beautiful and peaceful is something you love in a family hike, then Steigerwald Lake Wildlife Refuge in Washougal, WA is the perfect spot for you. This wildlife refuge is home to a variety of plants and animals, including deer, beavers, and bald eagles. The trails here are perfect for all skill levels, so everyone can enjoy a hike through this stunning area. It has been recently remodeled, too! Here is a trail map to help you plan your trip! It does take a bit to walk through the raised trail and get to the best part, but if you make a game of it, that should help. See who can spot the most birds!
Horsetail Falls Trail
If you're looking for an easy hike with a big payoff, check out the 2-mile out-and-back Horsetail Falls Trail. This trail leads to 2 beautiful waterfalls, the second one you can even go behind. It's perfect for a quick hike and the kids will love it! Check to see if they are currently requiring permits to enter the waterfall corridor. They are just $2 but are needed to get through during the peak months.
Powell Butte Nature Park
Powell Butte Nature Park is home to a variety of trails, so you can find one that's perfect for your skill level and the amount of time you want to spend. Plus, the park is home to some beautiful views of the city, and it's a great place to see some wildlife. On a hot day, start out at one of the entrances on the west or northwest side of the butte because the majority of your hike will be under the cover of trees. But if the views are what you are seeking, then drive to the main entrance on SE 162nd Ave. and hike to the mountain finder! There you will find a grove of trees that are beautiful and tons of views in all directions. It's the perfect place to stop and have a picnic, too!
I hope this guide inspires you to try out some new places to hike with your family near Portland! Not only are they beautiful and fun, but some of them also make great spots for a family adventure photo session! If you are a fun and cuddly family who wants a great experience and gorgeous views during your next family photos, I'd love to be your photographer so I hope you'll book a session with me!
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