The wildfire smoke has thankfully subsided in most areas, and the fresh air and blue skies has us craving outdoor activities before the heavy rains set in. So I gathered a list of fun dog-friendly adventures in and around the Portland area in case you need some extra inspiration or new ideas for fun things to do outdoors this fall!
Location: 8005 SW Grabhorn Road, Beaverton OR
Jenkins Estate is a historic 68-acre property located in Beaverton with a large network of trails overlooking the Tualatin Valley. Visitors can go on self-guided tours of the early 20th-century buildings and gardens and roam the trails spanning the estate. The trail system on the property is interconnected so you can combine loops or make your own route for as long of a walk with your pup as you’d like!
This is a bit of a drive from Portland, but still worth mentioning for a full-day trip or if you spend the weekend at the coast. The Tillamook Head National Recreation Trail is a beautiful moderately strenuous hike with diverse scenery that runs along the coastline and forest for 12 miles from Seaside. Given the length of this trail, it allows visitors to space out so it is unlikely to feel crowded like other trails in the area if you are seeking a peaceful (and COVID-friendly) hike with your pup. There are quite a few elevation gains so it does require some athletic ability to complete the full loop (which is estimated at around 8 hours). Be sure to pack a lunch and wear good hiking shoes, as the trail can get quite muddy!
Location: Carson, WA
Falls Creek Trail Loop is a 5.1 mile moderate hike located near Carson, Washington that features beautiful scenery and a stunning waterfall. This trail is quite popular so it's best to arrive early to avoid the crowds.
Location: Leif Erikson Drive, Portland OR
One of our go-to hiking spots year-round is the Leif Erikson Trail. It features a wide trail so even though it is heavily trafficked there is plenty of space to keep your distance (I'm looking at you, COVID). The trail is partially paved and there is good tree coverage so even in the rainy months it's a good option for a quick jaunt to get some exercise and fresh air.
Location: Crown Point Hwy, Troutdale OR
Thousand Acres is 1,400-acre off-leash dog park located at the Sandy River Delta, just 20 mins east of Portland. You would think our dogs had died and gone to heaven when they explore the trails of this park, as they frolic in the large open fields, smell all of the smells that the trails offer, and finally reach one of the two river access points. You'll definitely want to bring extra towels because there is lots of sand and mud but the smiles you'll get from your pup are worth the extra clean up!
Location: 16205 NW Gillihan Rd, Portland, OR 97231
Head out to Bella Organic Pumpkin Patch for a quintessential fall farm experience with your pup. Pick a pumpkin, visit the farm animals, grab a free hayride, and check out the corn maize they have dedicated to thanking COVID front line workers. On-leash pups are welcome on the farm! (though not in the U-pick fields)
Location: 2056 NW Pettygrove St. Portland OR
Cycle Dog is a great local business that recycles bike tubes into dog products like collars, leashes, and bowls. But even more, they have an indoor/outdoor dog park and tavern at their retail location in NW Portland to grab a drink and let your pups play.
Want to let you pup have some fun in the yard before you rake up all the leaves for the season? Many dogs enjoy jumping into leaf piles as much as we do and this game allows your pup to use his nose and do some non-destructive digging. Just rake your leaves into a pile (make sure they are dry leaves and that there are no critters or sharp objects) and hide some favorite toys or treats in the piles. You can make some piles bigger and some piles smaller to vary the difficulty and enjoy watching your pup romp around in search of the treasures!
So what are you waiting for?! Grab your pumpkin spiced latte, leash up your pup, and take the opportunity to get out and about! I'm 100% certain both you and your pup will be glad you did!
If you try any of these fun adventures, tag us on IG at @wagtheory or use the hashtag #wagmorebehappy!
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I have met so many amazing pups and their humans online through Instagram. But often the exchanges that happen are quick and surface level, so I wanted to start a "Get to Know You" series to dig a bit deeper to learn more about the special connection that pups and humans have in our awesome community.
To kick it off, I reached out to Taylor and Auggie, and here’s what I learned about their story and life together.