Natural getaways near Portland

Sometimes you just have to get away from the city for the weekend, and luckily, homes for sale in Portland are located near some of the finest natural parks the United States has to offer. If you are considering a weekend excursion, check out some of the following recreational areas in close proximity to the city.

Mt. St. Helens

This mountain is famous for its disastrous eruption in 1980, but don't worry - the mountain has been dormant since 2008, and is currently open to climbers. If you can make it to the top of the 8,365-foot peak, you'll be treated to sweeping views of Mount Rainer, Spirit Lake and other natural features.

Check out the U.S. Forest Service's website for updated information on trail conditions, local weather and animal advisories. To get to Mt. St. Helens, head north on Interstate 5 and take Exit 21 for Washington Route 503 East.

Mt. Hood National Forest

The outer boundaries of this national forest are located between 30 and 40 miles from Portland, and are easily accessible through Route 26 or Route 211/224. The park gets its name from Mt. Hood, which is the tallest mountain in Oregon and among the largest in the continental United States.

If climbing the mountain is not your preference, there are plenty of lakes, trails and features to enjoy in the surrounding areas. Due to its proximity to Portland, it would be easy to hike in on a Friday evening after work and stay until Sunday afternoon.

Tillamook State Forest

Tillamook features one of the only temperate rainforests in the United States, and receives plenty of precipitation over the course of the year. If you are camping here, remember to bring rain gear - the Pacific Northwest climate can provoke severe storms that form in a matter of hours.

In Tillamook, visitors often engage in target shooting, hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities. If you seek a greater variety of options, head about 50 miles to the west of Portland on Route 26, which will eventually turn into Route 6 and bring you right to Tillamook.

If you have just moved to Portland and are looking for a few ways to enjoy nature, take a trip to one of these three locations. A natural getaway is sure to please family members of all ages, so grab your kids, pack into the car and take a drive to some of Oregon's finest scenery.