Visiting the Witch’s Castle in Portland, Oregon (Hiking Guide)

The abandoned stone house in Portland’s Forest Park has become an iconic structure. Dubbed the Witch’s Castle here’s everything you need to know about visiting the Witch’s Castle in Portland, Oregon.

Hiking to the Witch’s Castle

Parking lot at the start of the Wildwood Trail.

The fastest way to get to the Witch’s Castle in Forest Park is to start by parking on NW Cornell Road. There is a small parking lot and a few spots on the side of the road which can easily get crowded on busy days.

Once you park you’ll head north down the Wildwood Trail. It’s about a 10 minute walk that takes you down a 135 foot descent to the Witch’s Castle. The trail is fairly easy with plenty of forest scenery along the way.

After 0.5 miles of walking you’ll get to the Witch’s Castle located on Balch Creek. Of course you can keep hiking the Wildwood Trail through forest park from this point or head down the Lower Macleay Trail. No matter what your plans are the Witch’s Castle is a great place to stop for a moment to enjoy the view.

Witch’s Castle

It’s great to sit and enjoy the moss covered structure. Of course you can walk inside and take as many photos as you want. There are also a few spots behind the Stone House to take pictures of the structure from different angles.

After visiting you’ll head back up to the parking lot after. Overall you’ll likely want to plan 30 to 45 minutes to visit the Witch’s Castle.

History of the Witch’s Castle in Portland

The Witch’s Castle which is also known as the Stone House or Macleay Park Shelter is a two-story building in the heart of Portland’s Forest Park. The stone structure was built in the 1930s and designed as a public toilet and pavilion for hikers.

During a storm in 1962 the main waterline to the Stone House was damaged and the city opted not to repair the waterline. This lead to the structure being abandoned and is now an iconic part of Forest Park.

In 2017 the Stone House got its name as the Witch’s Castle after local news reported teens having parties at the Stone House as “Witches”. The Witch’s Castle has since become a popular tourist attraction and typically covered in graffiti and moss.

Witch’s Castle Pictures

Here are more pictures of the Witch’s Castle in Forest Park. If you’re a photographer I’d recommend bring a zoom lens like a 24-70mm.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Witch’s Castle

What is Witch’s Castle?

Witch’s Castle is a popular attraction located in Portland, Oregon. It is a historical site known for its eerie ambiance and rich folklore as you’ve learned about in this post.

How did Witch’s Castle get its name?

The name “Witch’s Castle” originated from the local news called the teens having parties there “Witches”.

Where is Witch’s Castle located?

Witch’s Castle is situated in Forest Park, one of the largest urban forests in the United States, located in the northwest part of Portland, Oregon.

Is Witch’s Castle accessible to the public?

Yes, Witch’s Castle is open to the public and can be visited free of charge. It is a popular destination for hikers, history enthusiasts, and those interested in the paranormal.

Can I go inside Witch’s Castle?

While visitors cannot go inside the actual structure, they can explore the ruins and the surrounding area. The castle’s main walls and foundation are still intact, providing a fascinating glimpse into the past.

Is Witch’s Castle haunted?

Many believe that Witch’s Castle is haunted, attributing paranormal activities to the spirits of the accused witch and others who may have perished at the site. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims.

Can I take photographs at Witch’s Castle?

Yes, photography is allowed at Witch’s Castle. Visitors often capture the enchanting atmosphere and stunning natural beauty of the surrounding forest.

Are there any guided tours available at Witch’s Castle?

Currently, there are no official guided tours offered at Witch’s Castle. However, visitors can explore the site independently and learn about its history through informational signs.

Is Witch’s Castle family-friendly?

Yes, Witch’s Castle is suitable for visitors of all ages. Families can enjoy a leisurely walk through the forest, learn about local history, and soak in the captivating atmosphere.

Are there any nearby amenities at Witch’s Castle?

While Witch’s Castle is nestled in a forested area, there are no amenities such as restrooms or food stands directly at the site. Visitors are advised to come prepared with water and snacks. The hike to the castle is fairly short.

Can I visit Witch’s Castle at night?

Yes, Witch’s Castle can be visited during the day or at dusk. However, it is important to note that the area may become darker and more challenging to navigate after sunset.

Is Witch’s Castle wheelchair accessible?

Unfortunately, Witch’s Castle is not wheelchair accessible due to its location in a forested area with uneven terrain.

I hope you enjoyed my guide to visiting the Witch’s Castle in Portland Oregon!

The Witch’s Castle in Portland, Oregon is a fascinating destination steeped in history and folklore. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique experience, this hidden gem is worth exploring. Its picturesque location in Forest Park, combined with the intriguing legends surrounding it, make it a must-see spot for locals and tourists alike.

Looking for more things to see in Portland? Here’s my full Portland Oregon photo guide.

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