It’s no secret that getting some fresh air and exercise is good for all of us. And as a parent, I feel like variety and exploration can be refreshing (for kids and adults). These local parks managed by Oregon Metro are fun options that offer lots of space and natural beauty. You can also search for more area parks with Metro’s interactive park finder. Have fun!
If you head out, follow social distancing best practices and prepare for some amenities to be unavailable. Unless otherwise stated, expect restrooms to be closed. Double check this information with Oregon Metro before you go, and prepare to be flexible when you arrive, as there may be changes at any time.
Blue Lake Regional Park
Although favorites like the splash pad and swim beach are closed, the wetlands and lake are still fun spots to explore. The disc golf course is also open. Portable restrooms available. 20500 NE Marine Dr., Fairview. $5 parking fee, except during free parking days.
Glendoveer Golf Course and Nature Trail
This 2-mile, tree-lined nature trail is popular with families. The wood-chipped path is a great spot to see a variety of trees, birds and other wildlife. 14015 NE Glisan St., Portland.
Graham Oaks Nature Park
Meander 3 miles of trails while stopping at the five plazas where you can rest and admire the views. You can also check out the birds and wildlife at the restored wetlands and learn about the area’s Native American history. Check out the self-guided tour to prep for your visit. 11825 SW Wilsonville Rd., Wilsonville.
Mount Talbert Nature Park
Get away from it all at this park that “towers above busy roads, shopping centers and neighborhoods in Clackamas” (Oregon Metro). 10945 SE Mather Rd., Clackamas.
Orenco Woods Nature Park
Take advantage of trails to explore, wildlife viewing along the creek, bike-riding paths and — our favorite for kids and adults — the stick-work sculptures. The playground area is closed. 7100 NE Birch St., Hillsboro.
Oxbow Regional Park
Oxbow is a great spot with plenty of open space and trails to explore, plus you can swim or float in the Sandy River. (Don’t forget the kids’ life vests if they’re swimming.) Plan your trip with their Kids’ Activity Guide and the Field Guide. The Welcome Center, campgrounds and playgrounds are closed, but there are portable restrooms open. Open 6:30 am-7 pm. 3010 SE Oxbow Parkway, Gresham. $5 parking fee, except during free parking days.
Scouters Mountain Nature Park
Shady trails lead up to a plateau with lovely views at this extinct lava dome. It’s also a popular Pokémon spot! The restrooms and picnic reservations are closed, and Scouters Mountain Nature Park will be temporarily closed for maintenance on the morning of July 20 and will reopen by 1 pm. SE Boy Scout Lodge Rd & SE 147th Ave., Happy Valley.