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Forest Park | What’s 5,000 Acres of Forest Doing in the Middle of Downtown Portland?

You read that right, over 5,000 acres of beautiful woodlands just sits, untouched, in downtown Portland, Oregon. Established rather recently as far as urban parks go, in 1947, Forest Park has quickly become a favorite with visitors and locals alike.  In fact, it holds the honor of being the largest bit of natural forest within any city limits in the United States. Interestingly, early visionaries from as far back as 1903 thought that people would enjoy a walk in a forest more than another style of park. They had no idea how large the city of Portland would become but I guess they were right.

Forest Park is home to Wildwood Trail, a 30-mile walking and biking trail connected to a larger city trail system along the Columbia River. Bird watching, horseback riding and just about any other way to spend your leisure time can be accomplished in the aptly named park. In fact, there are over 112 species of birds that can be observed in this protected woodland and nearly as many bird-watching groups.

In addition to be a great place to spend a lazy (or active) afternoon, Forest Park has a job to do. The massive trees naturally control erosion, purify the air, collect water and cool the surrounding areas. Handy.  Forest Park is one of the many joys of living in the downtown Portland area. The hustle and bustle of city life, along with the accompanying noises just drift away as you enter its splendor. Residents know of its pleasures and visitors quickly learn.