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Portland Bike & Hike Trails

Portland has bike and hiking trails for all ages and abilities. The city has dedicated bike lanes, traffic-free zones and riding trails galore. It’s no wonder that it’s been voted as one of the most cycle friendly cities in the US.

Where to cycle in Portland?

There are a myriad of bike and walk/hike routes around the city of Portland. Plus you can head out of the city and cycle or hike along to the Columbia River, along the forest trails and farmlands, even down to the Oregon coast.

Here are a few of our favourite cycle and hike trails in Portland

Want to stay in the city? The southeast Portland neigborhoods is an excellent place for a city bike tour. This is a highly popular bike route, and perfect for families with children with its dedicated bike lanes, off-street paths and very few hilly roads. Starting from the Salmon Springs Fountain, you’ll cycle along Portland’s tree shaded residential streets lined with distinctive homes, and through the historic commercial centre. From there, catch the Springwater Trail that takes you alongside the Willamette River and back to the Salmon Springs Fountain, where you started. All in all, it’s 13 mile round cycle.

The Gateway Green park is a 25 acre green space and Portland’s very first bike Park. Situated in East Portland, on slice of green between two highways, the park was developed on the site of an old jail. Gateway Green is heaven for mountain bikers with plenty of places to practice you’re different skills. There are single track trails, a bike skills area, gravity area and cyclocross course. If you want to let the kids free to enjoy a mountain bike adventure, Gateway Green is also hiking and walking friendly. Thanks to River City Bikes for the above video.

Cycle alongside the Columbia River on the Marine Drive Trail. Starting at Kelley Point Park, you’ll cycle the wide pathways that hug the glittering river, taking in the magnificent scenery of Mount Hood in the distance. This is another family-friendly recreational cycle route, but it’s also popular with experienced cyclists. The 17.6 mile trail finishes up at Blue Lake Park, although there are other routes that you can follow once you come to the end of the Marine Drive Trail. There are not many shady paths, so make sure you cover up with sunscreen before you set off.

Marine Drive Trail_Portland Cycle Route
Marine Drive Trail courtesy of brxO on FlickR

The Sauvie and Skyline Trails are two of Portland’s most popular destinations which offer three possible routes with views to the city and countryside that alone make the journey a top choice. Head along Northwest Skyline Boulevard to reach the Skyline Boulevard on Saltzman. This is an unpaved and abandoned road, but the route isn’t too bumpy.  Cycle along the ridge enjoying the views to Stumptown. There is a steep descent back down into Portland. Then head over the Sauvie Island Bridge for a gentle cycle through farmsteads and fields with Mount Hood in the background, and along to a wildlife refuge.

The Willamette River Loop will take you out of Portland along the Willamette River, passing Milwaukee and Oregon City. As its name suggest the trail literally loops around the river and back up to Portland. The longer 30 mile route affords wonderful views to the city and a route through pretty Lake Oswego. Feeling thirsty? Stop off at one of Lake Oswego’s breweries for a refreshing beer, before you hop back on your bike and enjoy the river views and Sylvan trails.

Willamette River Loop cycle trail courtesy of Don Hankins on FlickR

If you don’t own bikes but want to spend some days cycling around the city, then look out for the bright orange bikes that are parked around Portland. These are part of the Biketown bike-sharing scheme and can be hired for as little as $2.50 per day.

For more cycling and hiking trails around Portland city visit the Portland Government Website where you can download the route maps for all of the best cycling trails in and around the city.