Forest Park Neighborhood Guide
Forest Park is located in northwest Portland and is bordered by the Northwest Heights, Nob Hill, and Linnton neighborhoods. Forest Park is an urban neighborhood on the border of Downtown Portland which means a quick five- to ten-minute commute into downtown proper in most traffic conditions.
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Features of Forest Park Neighborhood
Forest Park is not only a defined Portland neighborhood, but an urban city park as well. The park itself is truly a slice of lush green heaven. Comprised of more than 5,000 acres, it sits smack dab in the middle of Portland. Popular for its many foot, bike, and equestrian trails and its intoxicating natural beauty, the park is a destination spot for many locals looking to relax, exercise, and enjoy the outdoors. Residents can walk or bike to close-by northwest neighborhoods and downtown Portland. Forest Park neighbors many major Portland attractions such as the Oregon Zoo, the Forestry Center, the Children’s Museum, the Japanese Gardens, the Rose Gardens, the Vietnam and Holocaust Memorials.
Down the hill, you’ll find the Bethany shopping plaza for dining and shopping options. Just a little further on, you’ll find the hip and popular Nob Hill neighborhood. The close proximity to downtown and other popular neighborhoods makes Forest Park a highly coveted area. Live in the forest, just minutes from the city—sounds pretty good, huh?
People don’t visit this neighborhood to shop. They come here to see, to walk, to pedal. The Audubon Society of Portland, just inside the southern boundary of the neighborhood, is of particular interest to the area’s bird enthusiasts who visit the society’s Audubon House, then hike the trails to the Nature Sanctuary.
Audubon Society of Portland—Photo by Michael Barton
Forest Park Neighborhood Businesses of Note
As a neighborhood, Forest Park doesn’t have many businesses, with most of its landmass being the park. However, in addition to the features mentioned above, there is one go-to restaurant in the neighborhood.
At the end of a good hike or ride, some like to rest and have a burger, pint, and a nosh at Skyline Restaurant, which provides outdoor seating and great views of the Tualatin Valley.
Satiate your hunger with one of their half-pound signature burgers—like the Aloha, Everything, or Chipotle Mayo Avocado. If your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach, they also have quarter-pound burgers, and you can get all the enhancements you like. Crispy salads and savory soups are also on the menu, along with sandwiches, beer, and wine.
Skyline Restaurant—1313 NW Skyline Blvd
Quail Creek Ranch
Many residents of the Portland area head to the northwest corner of Forest Park neighborhood to Quail Creek Ranch during the holidays to pick out their tree. Family-owned and operated for 15 years, the ranch is more than “just” a Christmas tree farm.
Take some time to explore the Quail Creek trails, and after you’ve found the perfect tree, bailed it, and secured it to your car, take the chill off in their warming hut with a hot cup of complimentary cider or cocoa around the fire pit.
Not only can you find the perfect tree on their well-maintained 20 acres, you can also pick up some mistletoe, wreaths, garlands, and tree stands. They even provide free tree bailing, twine, cutting, shaking, and hauling. And they’ll help you loading your find into your truck or on top of your car.
Quail Creek Ranch—9949 NW Kaiser Rd
Forest Park Neighborhood Parks
Forest Park—One of the most beautiful parks in the country, Forest Park offers miles of hiking trails through lush green woodland. This park truly personifies the Pacific Northwest. Starting at NW 29th Ave and Upshur and spanning all the way to Newberry Road, Forest Park literally neighbors Downtown Portland. Enjoy hours of foot, bike, and equestrian trails all while relaxing in the intoxicating natural beauty. Forest Park is dog friendly—your four-legged friends will love it here!
Macleay Park—Technically part of Forest Park, Macleay Park is a small preserve that offers a variety of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Start at the trail and wind your way up to the Witch’s House and beyond, with a babbling stream flowing right next to you.
Forest Park Neighborhood Schools
High School—Lincoln High School
Forest Park Neighborhood Community Resources
Forest Park Neighborhood Vibe
Community focused. An appreciation for the natural beauty and scenery that the Pacific Northwest Portland neighborhoods have to offer. A little yuppy, a little hippy, image- and health-conscious, dog walkers, joggers, bicyclists are Forest Park staples.
Forest Park Neighborhood History
As with the rest of northwest Portland, Forest Park was nothing but Douglas fir forest until settlers took it over with donation land claims. Excessive logging on the steep slopes coupled with heavy rains created an unstable environment. Landslides ensued, making construction impossible initially.
While some were focused on progress, others, like the Reverend Thomas Lamb Eliot, wanted to preserve as much of the woods as possible—what would become Forest Park. The City of Portland acquired the land in small segments over many years. Holders of the land slowly deeded and donated sections of the land they owned, all of which eventually became what we know as Forest Park today. They were Donald Macleay, local real estate developer and business owner; Frederick Van Voorhies Holman, a Portland lawyer and Oregon Historical Society president, along with his siblings George F. and Mary; Clark and Wilson Timber Company; and Aaron Meier, one of the Meier & Frank founders.
In 1903, the Municipal Park Commission, formed by Thomas Lamb Eliot, hired the renowned landscape architecture firm, the Olmsted Brothers from Brookline, Massachusetts, to visit Portland and evaluate the area for the creation of a park system with linking parkways to preserve the natural scenery of the area, one of which was Forest Park.
More land acquisitions would follow, with one coming in 1928 when the City Council’s Delinquent Tax Committee passed on more land to the Parks Bureau, tagged to be a wildflower garden along Balch Creek. Another transfer came from Multnomah County (145 acres north of Washington Park), and in 1945, the Forest Park project gained the necessary support. Three years later, in 1948, the County transferred 2,000 tax delinquent foreclosed acres.
Forest Park Neighborhood Stats
Forest Park Zip Code 97229
Forest Park Neighborhood Real Estate
The neighborhood consists of mostly older style Portland homes that run the gamut of 20th century architecture, from classic Bungalow to Old Portland to Cape Cod to Four Square and more. There is also a smattering of apartments and condos in the area.
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Wikipedia. Forest Park (Portland, Oregon). Accessed July 6, 2022.