Located in Portland’s Washington Park, the Hoyt Arboretum is home to over 1,000 species of trees and plants from all over the world. There are 12 miles of trail spread out over 189 acres. The manicured paths take you through groups of trees, including larch, spruce, oak, and even sequoia. The trail surface occasionally switches over to pavement or gravel, but most paths are hard-packed dirt. Visiting the Arboretum is free, and the visitor’s center is staffed with highly knowledgeable volunteers. There is a research library, and an assortment of free maps and brochures available 24 hours a day. Here you can find self guided tour maps that include a 1-mile, barrier-free trail, as well as 2-mile and 4-mile hike options. The 4-mile map has a complete outline of all of the Arboretum trails, so your distance and route choices are seemingly limitless.
What Makes It Great
The Hoyt Arboretum was founded in 1928 in order to educate the people in the area and conserve endangered species. There is quite a bit of parking and restroom facilities. Because of our unique and temperate climate here in the northwest, this area has one of the largest varieties of trees and plants than almost anywhere on earth. Rare and endangered varieties are found here, which allows visitors to view trees and plants they wouldn’t otherwise experience.
For a nice, scenic loop, start at the visitor center and take the Oak Trail, which dead ends into the Wildwood Trail, which you should take to the left. After a bit of running, take the Redwood Trail after a short break at the Redwood Deck, which is a beautiful view of the surrounding area of trees. Take the Redwood Trail until it runs into the Fir Trail Loop and take a left on the Spruce Trail. Run past the Wedding Meadow until the trail deadends into the Wildwood Trail and take a right. Follow that down back to the Oak Trail, which will be on your right and will take you back to the visitor center.
There are things to enjoy any time of year at the Hoyt Arboretum. In the fall, it is a close by place to see fall colors of gold, red, orange, and yellow. In the winter, there is a lot to see in the appropriately named Winter Garden. In the spring, the dogwoods and cherries are in bloom. Finally, in the summer, the wildflowers bloom all over the arboretum.
For a delicious food and drink option, try Kinara Thai Bistro. It’s thai food that’s a cut above the rest and that’s saying something in Portland. Kinara is great for lunch or happy hour after a run.
Who is Going to Love It
The moderately graded trails at Hoyt Arboretum make it accessible for hikers and trail runners of all skill levels.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To get there from downtown, take US-26 W to exit 72 toward the Zoo and Forestry Center. Keep right and merge onto SW Knights Boulevard, then from SW Knights Boulevard, turn right on SW Fairview Boulevard. The visitor center will be on the right.