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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

Common Ladybug Walk Sites

Portland Parks & Natural Areas that are great for a Private Ladybug Walk!

Albert Kelly Park

Location: SW Dosch Rd
Type of Park: Hybrid Park - both developed spaces & natural area
Why we like it: Variety of conifers, hills & uneven terrain, natural area in the middle with a bridge
Things to think about at this site: Street parking only, park is nestled in a neighborhood and easy to miss by car - have clear directions!

Berkeley Park

Location: SE Cesar Chavez and Bybee Blvd
Type of Park: Developed Park
Why we like it: Variety of tree species, edges with leaf litter for insect/spider hunting
Things to think about at this site: Small site, no true natural areas, street parking only

Columbia Children's Arboretum

Location: NE 13th Ave and Meadow Dr
Type of Park: Hybrid Park - both developed spaces & natural area
Why we like it: Large variety of tree species, apple orchard, wetland area, creek with bridges, open fields for insect hunting & play
Things to think about at this site: This is a hidden gem, but it is OFF the beaten path! Make sure all buses, cars, etc know exactly where to meet and how to get there! Also, watch for dog poop as you walk & explore. 

Forest Park

Location: NW Portland - various trail heads
Type of Park: Natural Area
Why we like it: Contains true areas of deep forest, creek with macroinvertebrates, edges for insect hunting, variety of bird & animal species, variety of native trees, covered area available at Lower Macleay
Things to think about at this site: Trails in Forest Park are popular for runners, hikers, and dog walkers - this can make traveling as a large group tricky.

Gabriel Park

Location: SW 45th and Vermont
Type of Park: Hybrid Park - both developed spaces & natural area
Why we like it: Variety of tree species, hills and varied terrain, sand in the volleyball pit, birds & wildlife, extensive natural area with trails, creek with bridges, macroinvertebrates, open grassy areas for play, lots of parking available
Things to think about at this site: There are numerous parking lots - be clear with your buses, cars, etc where you are meeting, some areas are close to off-leash dog areas, tennis court meeting spot has a porta-potty only (other parts of the park have bathrooms)

Hoyt Arboretum

Location: SW Fairview Blvd
Type of Park: Hybrid Park - both developed spaces & natural area
Why we like it: Extensive variety of both conifer & deciduous tree species, variety of birds and wildlife, creek with bridges in numerous spots, Giant Sequoias, Fairy Forest, the House of Summer, Camperdown Elm, Oak Forest, Pine Forest, stone circle, open fields for play, extensive hills for rolling & running, variety of trails both soft surface and paved, many hiding spots and many secret spots to explore and hunt for squirrels, insects, spiders, and birds, covered shelter available, visitor's center available
Things to think about at this site: All parking in Washington Park is Pay-to-Park. It's a big place - choose wisely - we absolutely can not see everything in one day!

Irving Park

Location: NE Fremont & 7th
Type of Park: Developed Park
Why we like it: Large variety of tree species, hills and uneven terrain, accessible paths, open grassy areas for playing & running, leaf litter at the edges for insect hunting, cool circular concrete structure for climbing & play, covered basketball court available
Things to think about at this site: Bathrooms are closed Nov - Apr. Porta-potty is often available near the playground - might want to check before booking a walk, off-leash dog area in the center - watch for dog poop.

Laurelhurst Park 

Location: SE Ankeny and Cesar' Chavez Blvd
Type of Parkof Park: Developed Park 
Why we like it: Large variety of tree species, variety of birds, squirrels, large pond with ducks, leaf litter along the edges for insect hunting, rhododendrons for spider hunting & hiding spots, hills & uneven terrain, accessible paths
Things to think about at this site: This is one of the busiest parks in SE Portland - make sure you have ample chaparones to watch the children, street parking only, off-leash dog area in the middle - watch for dogs & dog poop. 

Maricara Natural Area

Location: SW 30th Ave
Type of Park: Hybrid Park - both developed spaces & natural area
Why we like it: Undisturbed natural area with soft surface trails, variety of birds, wildlife, plants, trees & animal signs, rotting logs for insect & spider hunting, quiet - we LOVE this hidden gem in Portland!
Things to think about at this site: This site is beautiful, but is a little bit outside of the city - also, because it contains numerous sensitive areas, all programs are strictly on-trail. There is no bathroom at this site. 

Marshall Park

Location: SW 12th Dr, off Taylor's Ferry Rd
Type of Park: Hybrid Park - both developed spaces & natural area
Why we like it: Hilly & uneven surfaces, creek, "dry creek bed" area containing logs & rocks for play, contains variety of trails, access to macroinvertebrate, variety of native trees & plants, variety of birds, access to adjacent Foley-Balmer property where there's good creek access and additional space to explore
Things to think about at this site: There are two entrances to this park - the best for gathering is at SW 12th Dr, just off Taylor's Ferry Rd. Make sure carpools, drivers, buses etc are aware where to meet! This site has a porta-potty some of the time - may want to check it out before booking. 

Mt Tabor Park

Location: SE 60th & Salmon
Type of Park: Hybrid Park - both developed spaces & natural area
Why we like it: Central location to both SE & NE Portland, covered shelter available, numerous hiking trails, variety of trees & plants, large variety of birds, volcanic history/volcanic rock - great geological spot, numerous secret spots to play & explore, open grassy areas, fields, uneven landscapes, rotting logs, brush piles & rocky areas for insect & spider hunting, squirrels, seeds, sequoias, cherry trees, small creek during rainy season, running water and full restrooms available year round, scenic views of downtown & east Portland. 
Things to think about at this site: One of Portland's busiest & most popular parks! Keep in mind there are numerous park entrances - make sure drivers, buses, carpools know where to meet. 

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Location: SE Milwaukie, near Hwy 99
Type of Park: Natural Area
Why we like it: Numerous bird & amphibian species (including rare species not often seen), Tadpole Pond (vibrant frog & salamander habitat during breeding season into early summer), both paved & soft surface trails, variety of bird species, variety of tree species, rich Portland history, active restoration site, open fields, wetlands, marshes, ponds, black-tailed deer, Great Blue Herons, eagles & osprey, evidence of numerous wildlife, boardwalk along bluff trail, wildlife observation deck, connects to areas along the Willamette River & Sellwood Riverfront Park. 
Things to think about at this site: Contains some sensitive areas due to the ongoing restoration work being done to improve amphibian & wildlife habitat, contains some off-limits areas to park users. Limited parking available at North Parking Lot of Oaks Bottom, and the lot has no bathroom access. 

Pendleton Park

Location: SW 55th and Iowa St
Type of Park: Developed Park
Why we like it: Open space for running & play, variety of trees & seeds, squirrels, edges with leaf litter for insect & spider hunting, accessible bathrooms, good street parking
Things to think about at this site: This site is central to a lot of SW neighborhoods but contains no official natural area. 

Powell Butte Nature Park

Location: SE 162nd & Powell Blvd
Type of Park: Natural Area
Why we like it: Both paved & soft surface trails, summits with great views, rich history & geological importance, large variety of local birds (one of the best in Portland!), butterflies, dragonflies, numerous spots to hunt for insects, spiders & animal signs, deer, raptors, rich field & forest habitat, variety of forest types & native trees, accessible bathrooms & water available at visitor's center, numerous trail head options.
Things to think about at this site: The best parking is off SE 162nd & Powell, but it's a 20 minute hike to either the forested area or the top. This is a common mountain bike site, so running into bikes on trails is likely. There is a thick layer of stinging nettle along the trail in sections. 

Sellwood Riverfront Park

Location: SE Spokane Ave & Oaks Park Way
Type of Park:  Hybrid Park - both developed spaces & natural area
Why we like it: Up-close and person access to the Willamette River, numerous tree species, variety of song bird, water fowl and raptor species, soft surface and paved trail access, sand & water play, pond & wetland, rare & native amphibians, wooly bear caterpillars, garter snakes, Clown Milipedes, rotting logs for insect & spider hunting, open grassy areas, uneven terrain, forested trails that connect to Sellwood Park and Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, year-round bathroom & water access
Things to think about at this site: The dog park is adjacent to the river, and there are a LOT of dogs off leash in both places (also a lot of dog poop near the dog park). 

Westmoreland Park

Location: SE 22nd and Bybee Blvd
Type of Park: Developed Park
Why we like it: Variety of birds, tree species, and plants, creek & bridges, casting pond, open grass spots for running & play, ducks & geese, squirrels, lots of edges with leaf litter for insect & spider hunting, access to a full nature playground with loose parts, variety of flowers & blooms in spring & summer, wetland edges to the creek, restoration areas, spawning salmon (fall), accessible bathrooms. 
Things to think about at this site: We love the nature playground access, but so does the rest of Portland! This is a notoriously busy place to visit! Consider including a good 1-2 hours for your group to enjoy the nature playground after your walk! There are some mean geese at this site! Parking can be an issue because of the popularity of the spot and it's close proximity to the neighborhood. 

Whitaker Ponds Nature Park

Location: 7040 NE 47th Ave, just off Columbia Blvd
Type of Park: Natural Area
Why we like it: Variety of song birds, water birds and raptors, ponds, creek & slough, bridges, variety of trees & plants, docks with pond access, macroinvertebrates, nutria, signs of beaver, coyote & deer, variety of short trails, open grassy areas for running & play, uneven terrain, rotting logs & hidden spaces with leaf litter for insect & spider hunting, owl pellets (on rare occasions!), both forested & field areas. 
Things to think about at this site: Porta-potty only. No water access. Parking can be an issue. The Columbia Slough Watershed Council has a very full calendar of water quality education classes with local schools most of the school year - which means limited times available. Please plan ahead for any programs at Whitaker Ponds. 

Woodstock Park

Location: SE 47th and Steele 
Type of Park: Developed Park
Why we like it: Variety of trees, open spaces for running & play, uneven terrain (slight), edges with leaf litter for insect & spider hunting, lots of street parking, squirrels, urban birds. 
Things to think about at this site: This site contains no official natural area. The adjacent dog park is busy - lots of dogs off leash. Bathrooms are seasonal and closed Nov-April.