Tom McCall Waterfront Park
If you’re looking to get a scenic stroll in between classes, there’s no better place to go than the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Just a minute away from PSU, this two-mile route takes you along the Willamette River on a path that is foot, bike and pet friendly. Apart from a scenic view you’ll find a score of food carts, street performers and fountains. What better way to stretch your legs?
Location: Naito Parkway, between Southwest Harrison and Northwest Glisan
How to get there: The park is accessible by countless buses and MAX lines, but why not walk when it’s only seconds away from PSU?
Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade
Named after former Portland Mayor Vera Katz, the Eastbank Esplanade is an ideal getaway for the student looking to escape the confines of the PSU campus. It may be only 1.5 miles long, but just minutes away from the university, it’s too good to pass up. The floating walkway allows for a beautiful view of the waterfront with the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, ships and aquatic activity on days where weather allows it. Those looking for a longer walk can follow the loop to connect with the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
Location: Southeast Water Avenue & Hawthorne Boulevard
How to get there: Fleets of buses and MAX trains can drop you right by the esplanade. If you’re on campus, it’s not too far to get to via foot power.
This 140-acre park is only minutes from Portland’s downtown. Overgrown with Douglas firs and western red cedars, the park is a local staple for hikers, bird watchers, dog walkers and those looking for a weekend getaway or a romantic picnic. The park boasts nearly 50 miles of trails and hundreds of species of birds, flowers and leafy fauna. If you’re looking to experience a bit of nature, give this park a shot!
Location: Northwest 29th Avenue & Upshur Street
How to get there: You can get to Macleay Park by hopping on the 15 and 77 bus lines.
Train, Trail, Tram and Trolley (The 4-T Experience)
Nicknamed the “4-T Experience,” this trail gives you a little taste of outdoorsy Portland. Starting at the Oregon Zoo, you take a quick hike on the Marquam Trail to Council Crest, which happens to be the highest point in all of Portland. From there you mosey on through OHSU where you take a ride on the Tram to the south waterfront. Once you’re there you can catch the streetcar into downtown, where you’re free to explore before catching the MAX train back to the zoo.
Location: The Oregon Zoo is the best place to start.
How to get there: Hop on the Red or Blue MAX lines to the Oregon Zoo to start your trip. It’s easy trekking from there!
The Hoyt Arboretum
Leafy lovers, this one’s for you! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the enveloping man-made structures of Portland’s downtown area, head two miles west to the Hoyt Arboretum. There you’ll find over 1,400 unique species of greenery and 12 miles of trails waiting for exploration. This makes for a perfect getaway from the concrete jungle.
Location: 4000 SW Fairview Blvd
How to get there: The Arboretum is just minutes away from the Washington Park MAX Station, accessible from the Red and Blue MAX Lines.