It’s the perfect time of year to get outside and enjoy our lush natural playgrounds—especially if you love jogging! If you have a little one that’s not walking yet, you can still get out there and hit the trails with a stroller, no problem. There are lots of great stroller-friendly parks and paths all over the city. Below, we’ve chosen some of our favorite routes that are easy to use a stroller on. Read on to find out more!

photo: alanna via flickr

Powell Butte Nature Park

This extinct volcano makes a perfect nature exploration day! The visit center has restrooms, drinking water, and a display of the areas history, and the well-marked paths wind up to an amazing view. On a clear day you can spot at least 7 surrounding peaks, with help from the mountain finder circle that points them out. The paths around the meadow near the center are the most stroller friendly, and the there are several routes to head up, down and around.

SE 162nd & Powell Blvd
Online: friendsofpowellbutte.org

Mt Tabor Park

The paved road and trails winding up to the top of this extinct volcano park (one of 4 inside the city limits!) make an easy stroll–except for the elevation. You’ll get your exercise and be rewarded with a beautiful city view once you reach the top! Bonus points for being easy to get to and having a great playground for the kids.

SE 60th and Salmon St.
Online: portlandoregon.gov/

photo: jevonnie via yelp

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens

Tucked beside Reed College in SE Portland, Crystal Springs feels like one of Portland’s secret gardens. More than 2.500 rhododendrons and azaleas bloom here in full force in the spring, stretching until late July. The garden is still beautiful at any time of year, though, with lots of paths that your little one can choose that lead to secrets like a waterfall or hidden ponds. A large pond is home to more than 100 types of birds perfect for watching (no feeding them here). It’s an easy stroll rather than a strenuous hike, and makes a lovely day.

$12/adults, free for children 12 and under
No fees on Mondays or from October – February
5801 SE 28th Avenue
Online: portlandoregon.gov/

Sam’s Walker Nature Trail

In the Columbia Gorge on the Washington side, this sweet little loop winds around former farmland and offers some great sweeping views of the Gorge. The 1.1 mile path is gravel, so strollers with bigger tires might fare better here, but it’s well-maintained. You’ll see fields, oaks, and apple trees, and come across a picnic table for some snacktime.

About 25 miles outside Vancouver
Online: wta.org

photo: SpikeSoleil via flickr

Catherine Creek Universal Loop

This is a short loop with a big payoff. Well known for wildflowers in the spring, the loop also offers great views of the Columbia River, Catherine Creek, meadows, and the beautiful Catherine Creek Falls. As universal access trail, it’s paved and well-maintained– the bumpy parking lot might offer the biggest challenge, though!

Online: gorgefriends.org/

Hoyt Arboretum

Trails wind all across the 190 acres of this beautiful arboretum in the West Hills. With more than 6,000 trees, there’s always something to admire! You can stop by the Visitor Center for tips on what to look for, and have them direct you to their 1 mile stroller friendly trail. Don’t forget to grab a children’s activity map while you’re there, too! For a longer hike (2.5-3.5 miles), follow the expert route that Access Trails has laid out for the easiest rolling with the most diverse habitat.

4000 SW Fairview Blvd.
Online: accesstrails.org

photo: bradley via flickr

Smith and Bybee Wetlands

It might seem odd to pass warehouses and industrial terminals on your way to a hike, but the wetlands hidden in North Portland are another little secret jewel of Portland. The Interlakes Trail offers an out-and-back paved path that passes by viewpoints of both lakes, about 2 miles total. You’ll be able to spot pelicans, turtles, and maybe even a secretive beaver or two!

5300 N. Marine Drive
Online: oregonmetro.gov

Tualatin Hills Nature Park

The ponds and wetlands of this forested park make for a great place to scout out some frogs and ducks! 1.5 miles of the trails are paved for super easy strolling, and even more are hard packed surfaces or boardwalks extending over flowing creeks. Start at the nature center to orient yourself (and get a hint of what little eyes should be looking for out there!), then head out on the Oak Trail to the Tadpole Pond, the Ponderosa Loop, or the Vine Maple Trail.

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15655 SW Millikan Way
Online: thprd.org

—Katrina Emery

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