Park Rules

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Park Ranger speaking with a group of children
You can help us protect our spectacular natural resources and help ensure everyone has a safe and rewarding experience while visiting Portland Parks by following all park rules. A full list of rules can be found in Portland City Code Title 20, Title 14, and Title 19, available at portland.gov/code
On this page

Alcohol and Drugs 

Use of alcohol, cannabis, and controlled substances is prohibited in our parks. PCC 20.12.040.

Alcohol may be allowed with a proper permit. If you are interested in planning an event in one of our parks, see PP&R’s Customer Service Center for more information. 

Animals 

Portland Parks and Recreation allows leashed animals in nearly all of our parks, and maintains 35 Off-Leash Areas around the city for dogs to exercise and socialize. Some natural areas prohibit dogs due to habitat and wildlife considerations. Look for signs.

While enjoying our parks, pet owners are expected to comply with all provisions of PCC 20.12.140, Leash and Scoop Laws, as well as rules posted on-site at designated Dog Off-Leash Areas. These standards help to keep our parks safe for both people and pets and our environment free of unhealthy contaminants commonly found in animal feces.  

Park Rangers regularly patrol to educate pet owners about potential violations and ensure that park rules are being followed. Continued non-compliance may result in a park exclusion or fine up to $150. 

Service animals are always allowed. For a great primer on service animals generally, see this page from the Office of Community & Civic Life.

To report an unattended dog, Leash/Scoop violation, or other park rule violation, call Portland Park Rangers at (503) 823-1637. In the event of an animal attack, call Multnomah County Animal Control at (503) 248-3790. 

Bikes and Motorized Devices 

Bicycles, skateboards, scooters, rollerblades, and motorized vehicles such as e-bikes, e-scooters, segways, and hoverboards are generally only allowed on paved pathways. Bicycles and other wheeled devices, like scooters, are not allowed on soft-surface trails or off-road, except in designated areas for off-road cycling. See PCC 20.12.170

Off-road cycling is available at Gateway Green.

Dock and Moorage Rules 

Portland Parks & Recreation manages several of the city’s public docks and boat ramps. In addition to all park rules and the rules and regulations established under Title 19 of city code, boaters are asked to abide by the rules and regulations described in PP&R’s Boat Launch and Moorage policy to keep our docks safe and equally accessible to all members of the public.  

Park Rangers regularly patrol our docks to educate boaters about potential violations and ensure that all applicable rules are being followed.

Fires, Fireworks, and Smoking 

Per PCC 20.12.110, fires, fireworks, and smoking of any kind are forbidden without a permit. The Director has prohibited fireworks at all locations in parks. This includes the use of vaporizers for nicotine and cannabis products. 

Barbecue grills are not allowed in parks, except with a picnic permit.

Geocaching 

PP&R allows geocaching in all areas of developed parks open to the public.  For more information, see our policies on Geocaching. 

Permitted Events 

Permits may be required for events or if soliciting for or conducting business. If you are interested in holding an event in a park, you may need to secure a permit. Contact the Customer Service Center if any of the following apply to your event: 

  • You want guaranteed use of a site 

  • You are setting up any equipment (barbeque grill, chairs, tables, canopies, volleyball net or other sporting equipment, etc) 

  • You will have alcohol present 

  • Your event is expected to have 150 or more people in attendance 

  • You will conduct any commercial activity - a service/product for which customers pay, including photography, film/video, classes (including personal training), approved concession of food products and sundries, docking, pedicabs, etc. PP&R, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to deny permits to a specific property and/or specific dates and times. 

  • Any organized entertainment/event, demonstration, or public gathering as defined in Chapter 20.08.010 of the City Code

Remote Control Devices and Drones 

The use of drones and other remote-control devices by park visitors can bother others and create stress for nearby wildlife. As such, their use is not currently allowed in any park. Pending an upcoming change in state law, the Director will be able to designate sites for take-off and landing. 

Swimming  

Portland Parks & Recreation encourages swimming at many of our beach access sites where it is permitted. For more information and tips for a safe visit, see our page on Swimming in Portland’s Rivers. Swimming off docks is prohibited, except at Eastbank Esplanade Duckworth Dock.

Fishing 

Fishing at our parks and docks is generally not allowed except in areas designated by the Director. For more information, see our policy on Fishing in Portland Parks. 

Structures

Placing or installing a structure in a park requires a permit. This includes things like a pop-tent, bounce-house, art installation, tables and chairs, or other temporary or permanent structures. For events, please contact the Customer Service Center.

Vehicles and Parking

Vehicles are allowed in designated parking areas only, and must remain on park roads. Vehicles on turf, or in unauthorized areas, or driving on park pedestrian paths -- even briefly to drop off or pick-up people or parcels -- is prohibited. Please contact the Customer Service Center if you have needs requiring access in a vehicle in a park.