Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum

Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035

Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum

Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum Professional Review and Guide

"A family could spend a weekend in Washington Park and never run out of things to do. The park has a zoo, a children’s museum, the World Forestry Center, the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial, a world-class Japanese garden, Hoyt Arboretum, and miles of hiking trails. TriMet runs a shuttle bus that connects it all. The loop described here is only a suggestion."

More Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum Professional Reviews and Guides

"Yet another of the many things that make Portlanders feel so lucky to live here: this hilltop park complex practically right in the middle of town features a network of wilderness trails linking a huge range of family-friendly things to see and do, not to mention postcard-quality views in all directions. This is Washington Park, the Southwest Portland companion to the adjoining (and somewhat wilder) Forest Park, an awesome 5,000-acre forested woodland that occupies a large part of Northwest Portland. Best of all, Washington Park is easy to get to: just hop on MAX Light Rail, take an elevator up to the surface, and you’re standing in the midst of a handful of attractions, including several good museums and the Oregon Zoo. From there it’s a short hike along softly winding forest paths to reach a pair of beautifully sculpted gardens. You’ll want to bring snacks or a picnic for this walk, if only because you’ll have an excuse to linger."

"This 332-acre park offers sweeping panoramic views, play and picnic areas, tennis courts, a zoo, and an amphitheater for outdoor concerts. It is one of Portland’s oldest and best-loved parks. Former German sailor Charles Meyers, the first park keeper, relied on his memories of European parks as he developed what was then called City Park.

Former seaman Richard Knight, a Portland pharmacist, had begun purchasing the animals collected by his old shipmates during their travels. When his acquisitions outgrew his exhibition space, he donated the animals to the city for a zoo. Meyers added the role of zookeeper to his duties. He dug the world’s first sunken pit to house the zoo’s bears."

"Washington Park now covers 400 acres of the 5,100-acre Forest Park. The formal northeastern corner developed into a European style of park when prosperous Portlanders admired East Coast elegance. Frederick Law Olmsted’s firm developed vistas and a master plan.

The southwestern corner, a more-informal, child-accessible, and nature-oriented park, has a zoo, museums, the tranquil Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, and access to trails throughout Forest Park. The longest trail, Wildwood, begins here."

Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum Reviews

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It’s very easy to make this too simple or too hard depending on the actual path you choose along the way. It’s worth planning ahead to design the experience you want.
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I do this trail fairly regularly. It's nice to have such a nice trail so close to the center of the city!

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Trail Information

Lake Oswego
Nearby City
Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
2 hours
Washington City Park
Local Contacts