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Trail facts at a glance
The paved Overlook Trail was conceived in 1998 and designed for its entire length to be at 5% grade and with minimum cross-slope.
Both the Wildwood and Maple Trails start west of SW Knights Boulevard but there are severe obstacles to crossing the road at those trails. We recommend starting those trails east of the Overlook Trail.
The Overlook Trail has raised and marked crosswalks both at the MAX station and the parking lot.
As you explore Hoyt Arboretum’s many trails, it’s like hiking through a living museum. There are over 2,000 species of plants and trees here. Many are rare and endangered species from around the world.
Many of the Arboretum trails can be combined to create loops and extended hikes. Several other popular Washington Park destinations— the Portland Children’s Museum, the World Forestry Center, the Vietnam Memorial and the Oregon Zoo—connect the Hoyt Arboretum Visitor Center by way of the Overlook Trail. Nearly a mile in length, this paved trail provides a gentle slope through open fields and beautiful views of the surrounding trees and hillsides.
To enjoy more of the Arboretum’s diverse habitat, we combined the Overlook Trail with sections of the Maple and Wildwood trails, creating an extended loop of over 2 miles, depending on means of arrival. After trying various options, this longer route provides the least grade and the fewest obstacles of other trail combinations. All the same there are some steeper sections along both the Maple Trail and the Wildwood Trail. Steeper sections may be 14%—15% and are indicated by an S.
Some members of the AR evaluation team prefer to approach steeper sections by going uphill, especially on un-paved trails. If that is your preference then follow the Overlook-Maple-Wildwood loop counter-clockwise.
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Hoyt Arboretum Overlook Trail Loop
Portland Parks & Recreation
Name: Overlook Trail with Wildwood, Maple Loops
Contact: (503) 865-8733
Location: Washington Park
Hours: see description at page for information
Visitor Center: 4000 SW Fairview Ave
Transit: , [weekdays, only] [#83 has been replaced by shuttle, below]
Transit: free shuttle [May through October, only]
Length: 2.5—3.5 miles depending on means of arrival and optional loops
How difficult we consider it: moderate with a few steep sections
Date of last visit: March 20, 2015
One can leave the MAX station from either end. Using the World Forestry Center elevator will get one closer to the beginning of the Overlook Trail. Using the Oregon Zoo elevator will require following the sidewalk along the zoo for about 1,000 feet to reach the Overlook Trail.