Although Mt. Hood, the Gorge, and the Coast are always calling, we are lucky here in Portland because we can enjoy the great outdoors and stay close to home. Here are two “in-city” family-friendly hikes that let you stretch your legs in the great outdoors without having to fill your gas tank.
Macleay Park to the Audubon Center
Park at Macleay Park and hike the Lower Macleay Trail to the Wildwood Trail (the junction is at the Stone House, continue straight at that point – don’t go up the hill). The trail stays level as it follows Balch Creek and briefly heads uphill before reaching a parking lot. Head west 1/10 mile from the parking lot to the Audubon Center. Audubon offers a nature center and rescued birds on display. This scenic hike is approximately 1 1/2 miles each way.
The Interlakes Trail at Smith and Bybee Wetlands Natural Area
From the parking area walk a little west to access the Interlakes Trail. Be sure to explore the fun stone sculptures in the parking area as well as the unique “trees” with bird and bat houses.
The trail provides access to viewing blinds for both Smith and Bybee Lakes. The trail is paved and level, perfect for a family stroll. Wildlife in the area includes turtles, fish, beavers, herons, ducks, snakes, rabbits, countless dragonflies, and much more.