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Mill Ends Park

A lot of stories, and even a leprechaun, have come out of one of the world’s smallest parks, a tiny green space in Portland.

Mill Ends Park is extremely small, only 2 feet (0.6 meters) in diameter. Travel along Naito Parkway and watch for a miniature break from the norm, a median-strip hole in the cement that has been transformed into a park.

Learn about the origins of this unusual park. In the immediate period after World War II Dick Fagan, a columnist for the Oregon Journal, used to look out of his window at an empty site that was reserved for a light pole. When no light pole materialized, he took matters into his own hands and planted flowers here. Fagan named his new park after his whimsical column, called “Mill Ends” after the term for irregular bits of leftover lumber.

Dick Fagan used his column to tell stories about the life of his new park, including its origin. He wrote that one day he looked out his window and saw a leprechaun on the street. He ran down and grabbed it, thereby earning himself a wish. Fagan wished for a park of his own but failed to specify the size, so the impish little leprechaun gave him the pint-sized hole in the median strip. Look carefully to see if the leprechaun has returned.

As you visit Mill Ends, imagine the raucous fictional goings-on of what Fagan termed “the only leprechaun colony west of Ireland.” After Fagan’s death, the space was cared for by others in the community and was named an official city park on St. Patrick’s Day, 1976. It has been recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s smallest park, beating competitors from Staffordshire, England.

Be alert for playful features added to the park by locals. Over the years, Mill Ends has been transformed into a tiny Jurassic Park, a recreation ground complete with pool and diving board and even a site for miniature plastic Occupy protesters. 

Find Mill Ends Park at the intersection of Naito Parkway and SW Taylor Street, a quick walk from other downtown attractions including the Pioneer Courthouse and the South Park Blocks. Entry is free.


Guide to Exploring around Mill Ends Park


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Best Lodging Options Near Mill Ends Park

See all 1,223 Properties near Mill Ends Park
Staypineapple, Hotel Rose, Downtown Portland $100
Staypineapple, Hotel Rose, Downtown Portland

Staypineapple, Hotel Rose, Downtown Portland

50 SW Morrison Street, Portland, OR
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Downtown Portland, this hotel is steps from Yamhill National Historic District and Mill Ends Park. World Trade Center and Tom McCall Waterfront Park are also within 5 minutes. Yamhill District Station and Morrison-SW 3rd Avenue Station are within a 2-minute walk.

    Mark Spencer Hotel $103
    Mark Spencer Hotel

    Mark Spencer Hotel

    409 Sw 11th Ave, Portland, OR
       
      3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Downtown Portland, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Powell's City of Books, Roseland Theater, and Pioneer Courthouse Square. Portland Art Museum and Portland State University are also within 1 mi (2 km). Galleria-SW 10th Avenue Station is only a 4-minute walk and Library-SW 9th Avenue Station is 6 minutes.

      The Benson, a Coast Hotel $115
      The Benson, a Coast Hotel

      The Benson, a Coast Hotel

      309 SW Broadway, Portland, OR
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Downtown Portland, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Powell's City of Books, Pioneer Courthouse Square, and Portland Saturday Market. Lan Su Chinese Garden and Portland Art Museum are also within 15 minutes. SW 6th-Pine Street Station is only a 2-minute walk and SW 5th-Oak Street Station is 2 minutes.

        The Duniway Portland A Hilton Hotel $135
        The Duniway Portland A Hilton Hotel

        The Duniway Portland A Hilton Hotel

        545 SW Taylor St, Portland, OR
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Downtown Portland, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland Art Museum, and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Keller Auditorium and Roseland Theater are also within 10 minutes. Pioneer Square South Station and Pioneer Place-SW 5th Avenue Station are within a 2-minute walk.

          Radisson RED Portland Downtown $107
          Radisson RED Portland Downtown

          Radisson RED Portland Downtown

          1455 S.W. Broadway, Portland, OR
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Downtown Portland, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Portland Art Museum, and Portland State University. Keller Auditorium and Pioneer Courthouse Square are also within 10 minutes. SW 6th-Madison Street Station and City Hall-SW 5th and Jefferson Street Station are within a 5-minute walk.

            Hyatt House Portland/Downtown $110
            Hyatt House Portland/Downtown

            Hyatt House Portland/Downtown

            2080 SW River Drive, Portland, OR
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Downtown Portland, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Riverplace, Keller Auditorium, and Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Portland State University and Portland Art Museum are also within 1 mi (2 km). PSU South-SW 5th and Jackson Station is 11 minutes by foot and PSU Urban Center-SW 5th and Mill Street Station is 12 minutes.

              Hotel Lucia $110
              Hotel Lucia

              Hotel Lucia

              400 SW Broadway, Portland, OR
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Downtown Portland, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Powell's City of Books, Pioneer Place, and Portland Art Museum. Providence Park and Portland State University are also within 1 mi (2 km). SW 6th-Pine Street Station and Pioneer Square North Station are within a 5-minute walk.

                Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton Portland-Pearl District $110
                Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton Portland-Pearl District

                Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton Portland-Pearl District

                354 NW 9th Ave, Portland, OR
                   
                  3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Pearl District, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Powell's City of Books and Providence Park. Tom McCall Waterfront Park and Oregon Convention Center are also within 1 mi (2 km). NW 6th-Davis Street Station is 5 minutes by foot and Union Station-NW 6th and Hoyt Street Station is 6 minutes.