While Portland may not be known for its lakes, nearby, you'll find some of the most beautiful lakes in the state. The best lakes near Portland include Oswego Lake, Lacamas Lake, and Blue Lake.
The lakes near Portland vary in size and what they offer, but all are beautiful in their own way.
You can enjoy swimming, hiking, sailing, paddling, boating, and more. Nearby parks attached to the lakes provide multiple sports fields and picnic shelters.
Best Lakes Near Portland to Visit
Keep reading to explore some of the most beautiful lake destinations near Portland, Oregon, for hiking, swimming, family picnics, and much more!
Known for: Blue Lake Regional Park, which offers picnic areas, a beach, and opportunities for fishing and boating.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 16 miles to the east.
It is a large, multi-use recreational park near Portland, Oregon. It features a large lake with paved trails that's north of Fairview Lake and south of the Columbia River.
You can visit the park for hiking, swimming, kayaking, and a number of other activities.
Henry Hagg Lake (Scoggins Valley Reservoir)
Known for: Recreational activities like fishing, boating, hiking, and picnicking. It's a large reservoir managed for flood control and water supply.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 25 miles to the west.
The lake is a popular place for visitors around the Portland area. It is open from sunrise to sunset throughout the year, with some facilities closing in the winter. The fishing season is from April to October.
You'll love to explore the 15+ miles of hiking the lake offers as well as places to stop and observe wildlife. There are also two boat launching spots and extensive access facilities.
Known for: Being a private lake surrounded by upscale homes with the Lake Oswego city built around it. Popular for boating and scenic views.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 8 miles to the south.
Oswego Lake is the lake around which much of the Lake Oswego City is situated. It is a naturally occurring channel of the Tualatin River but was increased in size by the construction of a dam to over 400 acres. The lake is massive and includes many parks and facilities along its shoreline. One of the best is Lake Grove Swim Park on the north shore.
Known for: Large, shallow lake suitable for rowing, kayaking, and windsurfing. There's a park with a beach and picnic areas.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 10 miles north (across the state border in Washington).
Located just over the border in Washington, this lake is situated within Vancouver Lake Regional Park, a 190-acre park along the west shore. It has facilities for picnics, windsurfing, and even volleyball. It is also a safe haven for wildlife, like migratory waterfowl.
Known for: Boating, fishing, and scenic views. There's a trail that runs along the lake, offering beautiful views and spots for picnicking.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 22 miles northeast.
Lacamas Lake is one of the larger lakes in Portland. It's part of Lacamas Regional Park which offers visitors 312 acres to explore. It is stocked with Brown and Rainbow Trout and there are also Yellow Perch and a few other species. It also offers about 12 miles of trails to enjoy with views of waterfalls, flowers, and rock formations.
Crystal Springs Lake
Known for: Being part of the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, which features beautiful landscapes and a variety of birds.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 5 miles southeast.
This small lake is part of the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden and is located near Reed College. The lake is currently undergoing a restoration project in order to increase the water quality and improve the health of all the species that depend on it.
Known for: A serene setting suitable for kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Surrounded by residential areas.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 16 miles to the east.
Fairview Lake is a large lake just south of Blue Lake in Oregon. It's part of Lakeshore Park. There, you can enjoy walking on paved trails, having a picnic, and using the play structure with kids. There is also a dock, a covered picnic area, accessible water, and more.
Known for: Wildlife viewing, especially for bird watching. It's a large freshwater lake on the island.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 18 miles to the northwest.
Sturgeon Lake is located on Sauvie Island to the north of Portland. It's a beautiful destination that's known for its hiking and wildlife spotting. It's known as the largest lake on the island, as well.
It's a great option if you're interested in doing some fishing or paddling. There are over 200 different species of birds in this area that you should be on the lookout for, too.
Known for: Being a part of the larger Lacamas Park. It's a peaceful spot for fishing, canoeing, and hiking.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 23 miles northeast.
Round Lake is a Portland Lake that's popular with families. It has a nice 1.4-mile hike around its shoreline that only gains about 140' in elevation. This makes it a perfect outing for hikers of all skill levels. It's also accessible year-round.
It's right near Lacamas Lake and is a good option if the latter is too busy. You're also going to want to take the time to admire the impressive spillway.
While not right next to Portland, our notable mentions are some of the most popular lakes in the state.
Known for: Being located in the Deschutes National Forest, it's a scenic alpine lake with clear blue waters. It's a favorite spot for fishing, especially for trout. The surrounding area offers hiking trails with views of the nearby Cascade Mountains.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 160 miles to the southeast.
Known for: Its iconic view of Mount Hood reflected on its calm waters. It's a popular spot for photography, especially during sunrise and sunset. The area also offers camping, fishing, and hiking.
Distance from Portland: Approximately 60 miles to the southeast.