Pittock Mansion hike is Portland hiking at its best

A stroll through an enchanted forest, a steep climb up muddy switchbacks, a hilltop view of the largest city in Oregon and a tour of a 100-year-old mansion – all of that, incredibly, can be found on one hike in Portland, what might very well be the best trek in the city.

The centerpiece of the famed Pittock Mansion Hike is Forest Park – the city’s own 5,157-acre park – while the crown jewel is Pittock Mansion itself, a 102-year-old home that stands proudly over Portland.

The mansion was home to Henry and Georgiana Pittock, two Portlanders who were pioneers in more ways than one. Henry, a born Englishman, traveled to Oregon in 1853 and began work at the Weekly Oregonian, a paper he took ownership of only seven years later.

Local streets take you up to the mansion, but the hike to the spot is absolutely fantastic, easily one of the best hikes (if not the very best) in Portland.

This lower part of the hike is nothing short of magical. The storybook stroll leads under moss-covered trees, over quaint wooden bridges and past dozens of miniature waterfalls on Balch Creek. As the trail intersects with the famous Wildwood Trail, it even leads past the Stone House (sometimes known as the Witches Castle), a ruined stone building.

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