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Summer is here, and there’s no better time to grab some friends and family, pack a meal and enjoy the scenery that the metro region has to offer – river and mountain views, wetlands, century-old trees and rolling countryside. Here are some places to start:
Located in western Multnomah County, the one-acre Mason Hill Park offers sweeping views of the Tualatin Valley’s rolling hills. It makes a great stop as part of the Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route or the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. The picnic shelter was converted from a one-room schoolhouse and still has the original school bell on top.
Picnic among the gravestones of some of Portland’s most notable residents and pioneers. Nestled in the heart of Portland’s Buckman neighborhood, Lone Fir is the city’s secondlargest arboretum with more than 700 trees representing 67 species. The cemetery is also a great place for bird-watching, and more than 90 species have been spotted.
Rising above Happy Valley, Scouters Mountain gives you an opportunity to explore an extinct lava dome and take in stunning views of Mount Hood. About half of the forest includes trees more than a century old. After your walk, enjoy lunch under a picnic shelter that has salvaged beams from the Boy Scouts’ Chief Obie Lodge that stood there from 1957 to 2004.
With six launching lanes on the Columbia River, Chinook Landing is one of Oregon’s largest and most popular boat ramps. Enjoy a picnic along the river, watch birds and other wildlife that call the 67-acre park home and practice hitting targets at the archery range.
Enjoy a leisurely jog or stroll on a network of trails, including the Rock Creek Trail, while taking in views of the gently rolling hills, open meadows and forests. Be on the lookout for deer, red-tailed hawks, beavers and great blue herons. Have lunch in the picnic shelter, then let the kids work off their energy at the nature play area, where they can dig in the sand, climb over logs and play on the swings.
Reserve a picnic area
You can reserve picnic areas at Blue Lake and Oxbow regional parks, Howell Territorial Park, and Graham Oaks and Scouters Mountain nature parks.