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Mill Ends Park, Portland

3.9
#21 of 28 in Parks in Portland
Nature / Park
Mill Ends Park is a tiny urban park located in the median strip of SW Naito Parkway, approaching esplanade along the Willamette River near SW Taylor Street in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. The park is a small circle 2ft across, with a total area of 452sqin. It is the smallest park in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records, which first granted it this recognition in 1971.HistoryIn 1948 the site that would become Mill Ends Park was intended to be the site for a light pole. When the pole failed to appear and weeds sprouted in the opening, Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, planted flowers in the hole and named it after his column in the paper, "Mill Ends" (a reference to leftover irregular pieces of wood at lumber mills). Fagan's office in the Journal building overlooked the median in the middle of the busy thoroughfare that ran in front of the building (then known as SW Front Avenue).The park was dedicated on St. Patrick's Day, 1948, as "the only leprechaun colony west of Ireland," according to Fagan.LegendFagan told the story of the park's origin: He looked out the window and spotted a leprechaun digging in the hole. He ran down and grabbed the leprechaun, which meant that he had earned a wish. Fagan said he wished for a park of his own; but since he had not specified the size of the park in his wish, the leprechaun gave him the hole. Over the next two decades, Fagan often featured the park and its head leprechaun in his whimsical column. Fagan claimed to be the only person who could see the head leprechaun, Patrick O'Toole.
To visit Mill Ends Park and other attractions in Portland, use our Portland holiday planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
53 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • It really is the smallest park. In the middle of a crosswalk so do not linger long. Just another awesome weird thing you must do when in Portland.  more »
  • We were in Portland for a few hours and Pinterest had a list of items to do in Portland in a small amount of time. Mill Ends Park was one of them. It is a tiny median on the busy street. My boys ran t...  more »
  • You might miss it if you aren't paying attention. It is cute and apparently it gets changed out and kept up. Kind of cute and funny in the middle of the street. I have to check the Guinness book of wo...  more »
Google
  • I love this park!!!! There's literally something to do here everyday and the options can meet the needs of anyone. The beauty of the park alone summons the interests of many but the unlimited potential for adventure keeps people coming back.I personally love the nature of green plush trees and being able to enjoy the environment with other park enthusiasts.The museums are also awesome! The park has an ample amount of parking.There are also food trucks during the weekends. The Japanese Tea Garden is breathtaking and has one of the most beautiful landscapes on the west-coast.There's always something to do here and every moment is simply the best at this park. The more you engage in activities at this park, the better you feel.Great place to visit!
  • The World's Smallest Park. Just another fun little quirk that "keeps Portland weird."
  • I really like this park, but I particularly like when it gets decorated for holidays. There's a plaque on the west side of the street with additional information and history. Now you can tell people you've been to the smallest park in the world!
  • The smallest park is way smaller than I expected. Its fun to check off the list!
  • Smallest Park in the World. You'll want to go there with someone if you want to have a good photo-op.

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For easy foot access to Portland's best shopping, dining, and entertainment, stay in or around the downtown area, connected to the rest of the city by light rail. This compact and busy part of Portland contains the highest concentration of hotel rooms in the city, allowing you to explore options ranging from boutique properties to big chains. Thanks to Portland's convenient transportation system, you can also choose a less expensive motel or bed and breakfast in one of the outlying neighborhoods, and still be within minutes of most major tourist attractions.
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