The affluent community of Lake Oswego is just 7.5 miles south of Portland. It has 3 beautiful waterfront parks overlooking the Willamette River, including George Rogers Park, Foothills Park, and Roehr City Park.
It’s only a short drive from downtown Lake Oswego to these Lake Oswego parks, located on the scenic western shore of the Willamette River.
3 BEST Lake Oswego Parks
1. George Rogers Park
George Rogers Park is the most popular of all Lake Oswego Parks. In summertime, locals and visitors are attracted to the beautiful, sandy beach at George Rogers Park, overlooking the Willamette River (unfortunately there are no lifeguards). You can also do seasonal rentals of paddleboards and kayaks from the beach.
There are tons of other amenities at George Rogers Park, like a playground, baseball field, and tennis courts near the upper parking lot.
Most visitors are content to lie out on the open lawns, and soak up the rays on hot summer days.
The most prominent landmark at George Rogers Park is the Oregon Iron Company Furnace, constructed over 150 years ago in 1866.
There are some secluded, shaded areas at George Rogers Park, away from the summer crowds.
Take the stairs down to the beach at George Rogers Park, and rent a paddleboard or kayak in summer.
2. Foothills Park
Foothills Park is 1-mile north of George Rogers Park. It’s a beautifully manicured park, with open lawns and gardens on a bluff, and sweeping views of the Willamette River. Foothills Park is definitely the prettiest of all Lake Oswego parks.
The path also passes other attractions in this 6-acre park, like the Vietnam Memorial, a stunning pavilion, and a basalt column art installation. Follow the path north until it ends at a circular overlook with a direct view of the historic Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge.
The path at Foothills Park leads to a dramatic overlook on the river.
From the overlook you can see the dock that attracts large numbers of sunbathers in summer (no swimming from the dock).
This gorgeous garden is by the main parking lot at Foothills Park, one of the loveliest Lake Oswego parks.
The Veterans Memorial is also near the parking lot.
Sit beneath the shaded pavilion at Foothills Park, with a beautiful water feature that flows nearby.
3. Roehr City Park
Unlike the other two Lake Oswego parks, Roehr City Park can’t be accessed directly from a parking lot. The easiest access is by parking at Foothills Park, then following the path south to Roehr City Park. Roehr City Park is primarily a narrow, forested river walk, with two viewing platforms for panoramic views of the Willamette River.
This is one of the viewing platforms that juts out over the river.
Roehr City Park is steeped in history and was originally the site for the Oregon Iron and Steel Company, founded in 1865. There was great excitement when iron ore deposits were found in this area, and the newspapers declared that Oswego would be the “Pittsburgh of the West”, providing cheap iron for West Coast America. The prospect of cheap iron on the West Coast was especially appealing, because of the exorbitant costs of shipping it from the East Coast around Cape Horn.
Unfortunately these dreams never came to fruition, and the iron company met its end after the great financial panic in 1893.
Don't forget to read all the informational boards at Roehr City Park, detailing the history of the Oregon Iron and Steel Company.