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Hoyt Arboretum (Portland)
When most people think of Northwest Portland family outings they picture the Portland Zoo, the Portland Children’s Museum or maybe the World Forestry Center. Some people may not even know that the perfect and free family outing is only steps away! We recently visited the Hoyt Arboretum for the first time and had a fabulous morning. If you are not familiar with this area, the Arboretum is located about two miles west of Downtown Portland.
Our first stop was to get a map from the visitors’ center. The little ones absolutely loved having a map. They would frequently pause to look at it, trace their finger along the map, and exclaim, “Let’s go THAT way!” Although they were not able to fully read the map, it was a great way for them to feel like they were a part of the planning and adventure.
Next time we go I will print off one of their fabulous children’s maps available on the Activities for Families and Children” page. When you check out the map you can also look at the map highlighting the one mile ADA accessible route that is also great for strollers. We found that we were easily able to take stroller on any path we tried.
As a mom of three young children I always try to look for a place with safe paths that are jogger stroller friendly. We have so much more fun when we can let the kids explore at their own leisure — it helps them be able to experience nature and a new environment so much more completely if they have a little freedom.
We spent quite a bit of time on the ADA accessible trail named “Overlook” and also enjoyed “Cherry” and “Magnolia.” Even on a cool day there were quite a few other people wandering the trails. One friendly couple offered to take a shot of all of us at a gorgeous spot that overlooked multiple mountains. Any opportunity to get a family picture must be seized! The sign we are standing in front of explains what mountains you are looking at.
Other things to know
- You can have fun by choosing the route that will be most in bloom during your visit. Read your map carefully or ask someone at the visitors’ center which area you should be sure not to miss.
- You can also check out the “seasonal highlights” area on their site to see what is at its peak during the month of your visit.
- There is a small gift shop and research library available during the visitor center hours.
- Bathrooms are right by the visitor center (and open longer hours than the center itself).
- If the visitor center is closed there are maps located outside.
- As always be sure to take valuables with you and lock your car.
Kari is a blessed wife and mom to 4 year old twins and a 21 month old. She lives in Salem and blogs about local natural/organic deals, frugal homemaking, creativity with little ones, planning parties, and small projects around the house at Twin Mama Loves.
Ready to discover (or re-discover) Portland? From the coast to the Gorge, from Clark County to Salem, The Ultimate Guide to Portland Family Fun will allow you to experience the awesomeness this area has to offer!
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