What’s to Love: As far as I’m concerned, this is the crown jewel of far-southeast Portland. We ride our bikes to this park all the time, and it’s my son’s favorite park. I love many Portland parks, but Sellwood is my favorite as well. This park has an one of the nicest public swimming pools with a great section for toddlers and beginning swimmers. The play structures at the park are practically in new condition with a nice structure for early walkers. There are plenty of monkey bars, swings and slides to keep big kids interested.
The location of the park is ideal with excellent shade in the summertime – it’s very close to the Springwater trail, New Seasons, Sellwood downtown, Oaks Bottom, etc. The grounds are well-maintained, and there is plenty of room to play frisbee, or for batting practice.
Caveats: Quite a few sports teams use the fields for practice and games. This should not be a problem, but don’t count on all the spaces being available. The playground can get overrun by school groups, so if you see them coming, you may want to move along. This doesn’t happen too often.
Distance from Portland: Within 3 miles of downtown Portland
Recommended Ages: All ages – great area for toddlers and early walkers
Parental Stress Factor: Low stress – it’s a great park with a lot of friendly parents
Physical Difficulty: Low to High depending on how involved you are with your kids’ activities!
Family Fun Factor: High! We always have a wonderful time at Sellwood Park.
Pet Friendly: Sure! People are responsible dog owners at this park. Thanks!
Weather Considerations: Quite surprisingly, this park is excellent in rainy weather. You just have to watch your footing, but as long as you have rain gear, you’ll have fun!
Insider Info: Why is this park so nice? Start by thanking Columbia Sportswear – the company donated 1 million (yes, that’s not a typo!) dollars over a ten year period for maintenance projects. The money has been put to good use, and it shows.
Watch out – the middle of the play area is almost always muddy. There appears to be a drainage problem, so if you don’t want your kid’s shoes all wet, keep them away from this area.
Check the website for information about swimming lessons at the pool. On a hot day, the open-swim will get a bit crowded. “Family swim” is your best bet to bring the kids.
Family Tips: One of my favorite things to do is bike to New Seasons, get a picnic lunch, and head over to Sellwood Park for an afternoon of fun. There are plenty of picnic benches right near the play structures, or you can sit along the periphery.
If you want to get your children interested in tennis, Sellwood is the place. They have a practically-new tennis court, which gets a lot of use. The good news is they left the old (very used) tennis courts there when they built the new. No one wants to play on these old courts, but kids don’t care! My biggest problem with tennis is my son always hitting the ball into a serious game on the adjacent courts. This is not a problem on the old courts at Sellwood Park!
Other Posts of Interest...
Fernhill Park on August 7th, 2010
Hardesty Trail Loop Hike on November 26th, 2012
Wilshire Park on April 26th, 2008