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Mill Ends Park, Portland

Categories: Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4/5 based on 35+ reviews on the web
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.
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  • Little park that is definition Portland. The park becomes greater when you find out the story of the Irish journalist that basically created the park from a hole for a light post. 
  • This is the world's smallest park. It is in the median of a many-laned road. It is not impressive, but gosh darn it, it is cute. Five full dots for that. I'm pretty sure it's the only world's smallest...  read more »
  • It's just a few extra steps off Waterfront Park so why not.?. It's cute and slightly interesting. A walking guided tour group of about 30 people swarmed us as we were reading up on the story behind th...  read more »
  • I was quite excited to see this "world's smallest park." I'll admit, standing there for four traffic light cycles just to admire and take photos of this cute concept is a bit scary - it's located at the beginning of the median. We were here during Saint Patrick's Day weekend so we were pleasantly surprised to find that this "park" was decorated with a miniature rainbow and pot of gold at the end of it! Obviously, we looked like total tourists but my derpy photo was totally worth it (:
  • Almost missed it! But then it was so much fun running among its trees and finding new paths...around it :)
  • Of course the world's smallest park is in Portland. Portland's awesome! Mill Ends Park is basically a tree on an traffic island. Sometimes we'd get stuck because no one pushed the crosswalk button...
  • I love that this exists! World's smallest park. That being said, it's a few plants in the median of the road so know what you're getting into when you look for it. You could literally miss it in the blink of an eye.
  • Love this place. Great place for sum bathing ;-)
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