Portland, Ore – There are a lot of options if you want to do nature walks and hikes within the city of Portland. Beautifully manicured parks are a staple of a city, but when you have space within the city where you can feel like your deep in the woods, that’s a huge bonus.
A beautiful VERY popular trail goes from Lower MacLeay Park to Pittock Mansion. It’s stunning because it runs along Balch Creek. There are mini-waterfalls, roaring water, and moss covered trees. There are several options for walking and hiking from there. If you want to see the mansion take the Wildwood trail and head up the mountain. It’s a moderate trail, and you’ll get a work out because of the incline, and it was muddy in spots but what a scenic walk up the hillside! At the top you come to Pittock Mansion, but because of COVID the museum is closed. As for the trail, it’s rated moderate, it’s five miles to and from Lower Macleay to Pittock mansion. If you want to park in the area, it’s not easy. There are only about 8 parking spots at the park, but at least they’re free. Otherwise you’re going to have to park in surrounding neighborhoods and likely annoy residents there.
A couple of interesting factoids about Pittock Mansion and Balch Creek. George Pittock climbed Mt. Hood four times! His wife crossed the Oregon Trail at age 9!. Also Balch Creek is named after Danford Balch, who shot and killed his sonin law and became the person first hanged for a crime in the state of Oregon. Oh…and there is a “Witch’s Castle” in Lower Macleay Park, but the city of Portland doesn’t call it that. It’s official name is the “Stone House”. It was a rest area for park users, not a castle, or even a house.