Portland is one of the greenest, if not the greenest large city in the United States. If you're reading Finder within the city limits, you're almost certainly within five minutes of some kind of park, especially if you're in tree-lined Sellwood. Here are some of the must-visit parks, forests and green spaces in Sellwood and beyond.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Milwaukie Avenue and Mitchell Street.
A floodplain wetland that was saved from being converted into a motocross park in 1988, this birdwatcher's paradise winds under the Sellwood Bluffs and offers views of the Willamette, Wilhelm Memorial's bird murals and so many everlovin' birds it'll make your head spin around like an owl.
Sellwood Riverfront Park
Southeast Spokane Street and Oaks Parkway.
This stretch of beach is nestled between the Willamette and the Springwater Corridor and runs from an off-leash park and dock in the south all the way to an Oaks Park pavilion in the north. If all dogs go to heaven, at least a few of them smell it as Sellwood Riverfront Park.
Sellwood Park and Sellwood Community Pool
Southeast 7th Avenue and Miller Street.
This pastoral woodland park provides respite for summer with tall firs and the Sellwood Community Pool, and its forested bluffs make up the neighborhood's most dominant visual feature crossing from the westside.
Westmoreland City Park
Southeast Bybee and McLoughlin Boulevards.
Once a spare strip of sports fields along McLoughlin, this city park has been refurbished to return the park's best feature, Crystal Springs Creek, to a more natural state. The result is a meandering wetlands populated by wildlife, and the city's first nature-based play area.
North Edison Street and Pittsburg Avenue:
The Gothic St. Johns Bridge gives a stunning aerial architecture to Cathedral Park, making it one of Portland's most beautiful parks.
Director Park and the South Park Blocks
815 SW Park Ave.
This urban plaza and the green space to its immediate south are one of the few places to hang out in the otherwise hectic inner westside.
This 5,000-plus-acre urban second- and old-growth forest is the largest of its kind in the United States.
Southwest 45th Avenue and Vermont Street:
Just outside of the suburbs is a 91-acre suburban-style park with every amenity—from skatepark to tennis courts—you could want.
Southeast César E. Chávez Boulevard and Stark Street:
It's no surprise that one of Portland's nicest neighborhoods also has one of its nicest neighborhood parks, complete with duck pond, picnic areas and an off-leash area for pups.