A 29 acre open space in the Deering Center neighborhood. This park features shady trails, majestic tall pines, 2 ponds, open meadows and an outdoor classroom. This nature preserve, in the heart of the city, is visited by thousands of walkers, runners and dog owners every year.
History of Mayor Baxter Woods
The Park was formerly a woodland estate called 'Forest Home' in the nineteenth century. Mayor James Phinney Baxter purchased this land which had been an estate of Congressman Francis Ormond Smith in 1882. When Mayor Baxter passed, his son Governor Percival Baxter opened the woods to the public for recreational purposes. It became known as Baxter Bird Sanctuary and several community groups developed nature trails. In April 1946 Governor Percival Baxter presented this 29 acres of woods to the people of Portland as a municipal forest to be known as 'Mayor Baxter Park' in honor of his father, former Portland Mayor James P. Baxter. The park is now dedicated as a municipal forest and sanctuary for wild birds. When Governor Baxter gifted the woods to the City in 1946, the deed stated that the woods “shall forever be kept in its natural wild state and as a sanctuary for wild birds….”