A photo of Mill Ends Park. The park, which is located downtown, is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s smallest park. Photo by Abe Nelson.
Portland is well known for its large nature areas, such as Forest Park, Mount Tabor, and many more. Additionally, Portland is home to some smaller parks. Mill Ends Park, which happens to be right here on our very own downtown waterfront, holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s smallest park. At a full 0.000072 acres, according to Portland Parks and Recreation, Mill Ends Park is located a few blocks north of the Salmon Street Fountain and is very easy to miss. It sits in the median of Naito Parkway and can be admired by pedestrians using the crosswalk located next to it. Mill Ends Park is a small circle of raised concrete, with a smaller circle full of plants. It even has its own miniature Portland Parks sign.
The story of Mill Ends Park begins as a median for a light post in the 1940s. Journalist Dick Fagan, whose office at the Oregon Journal overlooked the median, saw the empty area growing weeds. Fagan planted flowers, and dedicated the park on St. Patrick’s Day in 1948, naming it after his column in the Oregon Journal—Mill Ends. Portland Parks and Recreation officially recognized it as a city park in 1976 after Fagan’s death in 1969. Recently, at the end of 2021, the park was shifted a whole six inches, and the miniature sign was added.
While Portland has many options for outdoor parks, consider giving Mill Ends Park a visit next time you are in the area.