Bicycle Rides

It’s great fun to take a ride around your neighborhood. Sometimes you feel more adventurous.

Here’s 5 Portland-area paved bike baths to check out.
via The Oregonian, by Stephanie Yao Long

 

Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade (SE Water Ave & Hawthorne Blvd)

  • Flavor: Urban. with outstanding views of city and river
  • Where: On the east side of the Willamette River, across from downtown
  • Distance: 1.5 miles one way
  • Level: Easy. Flat except for the incline to get down to the 1,200-foot-long floating walkway, one of the most fun parts of the ride because it puts you at water level.
  • Important to know: Pay attention to the parking signs, but usually paid parking can be found on the north side of the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge. Once on the esplanade, watch out for pedestrians, pets and other wheeled recreational users like skateboarders, in-line skaters and fellow cyclists. Very busy on nice days. You can extend your ride by crossing either the Hawthorne or Steel bridge to the west side’s Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park to complete a loop.
  • Things to see: The underbellies of the Hawthorne, Morrison, Burnside and Steel bridges. Art and interpretive signs dot the route. If you travel south from the Hawthorne Bridge (the paved path continues even though it is not officially the Esplanade), you will see OMSI on your left and construction of the newest bridge being built on your right.

Springwater Corridor ( SE Ivon St to Boring, OR)

  • Flavor: Nature outing, with occasional urban, depending on where you are
  • Where: Southeast Portland from downtown to Gresham
  • Distance: 21 miles, with convenient parking and restroom facilities peppered along the way, so that breaking up the trail into much shorter outings is the way to go.
  • Level: Easy
  • Important to know: This trail does cross major, busy streets. The entire trail is separated from traffic, with the exception of one mile, called the Sellwood Gap,  where you are routed through a quiet neighborhood. The length about two miles west of Boring is gravel.
  • Things to see: Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Tideman Johnson Nature Park, Powell Butte Nature Park

Willamette Greenway Trail North of Willamette Park (SW Macadam Ave & Nebraska St)

  • Flavor: Urban, peppered with a lot of nature from the river
  • Where: South of downtown along the west side of the Willamette River
  • Distance: 1.7 miles one way
  • Level: Easy
  • Important to know: Pay to park at South Waterfront (north end of trail) or Willamette Park (south end of trail). I highly recommend going to maps.google.com and entering this address, which is the north end of the trail: 0680 SW Bancroft. On the map, you will see the bike path heading due south from that exact point (east side of the train tracks). I highly recommend touring the path by using the street view on Google Maps. As you are heading south, you will see a hard left on the map. It’s not so obvious when you are actually there: What you see is the path emptying onto a street and a red brick, multi-story office building to your left. You will want to take the skinny paved path up to the left of the office building. There is a sign for the Willamette Greenway Trail. There is about a block where you share a road with the entrance to the Willamette Sailing Club at Southwest Carolina Street and Southwest Riverpoint Lane.
  • Things to see: Boats and wildlife on the river; supposedly a white oak dating back to the Revolutionary War is on the south end of Willamette Park.

Marine Drive (Broughton Beach to I-205 along Marine Drive)

  • Flavor: Urban, with a view of the river, and the airport and industry on the other side.
  • Where: Along south shore of the Columbia River
  • Distance: About 5 miles one way, from Northeast 33rd Avenue to Interstate 205
  • Level: Easy with some short up and down
  • Important to know: It can get really windy, which is great if it’s a tailwind! And, there’s not a single tree along the way. As with all multi-use paths, watch out for others, including those adult riders trying to break the land speed record. Watch out for the kiddos if they stray too close to the path’s edge on the riverside; the tumble can be down a steep hill. The Port of Portland built a connecting path so you can access the airport parking lots. There is parking at the southwest corner of Northeast 33rd Avenue and Marine Drive. If you park here, you have about a mile ride on the path through a fielded area on the south side of Marine Drive and you have to cross Marine to continue on the path on the north side.Or you can park at the M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramp public lot around Northeast 42nd Avenue and Marine Drive for $5/car. Although it’s paid parking and will cut your ride short by a mile (which might be a good thing), you won’t have to cross Marine. You’ve ridden about five miles (from Northeast 33rd) when you’ve reached I-205. The path passes under I-205, but after that you have to ride with traffic on Marine Drive for about 10 blocks before you can get on the path again.
  • Things to see: Airplanes landing and taking off, river wildlife

Fanno Creek Trail (Fanno Creek Park/Denney Road to Hall Boulevard – Greenway Park/Hall Boulevard to Scholls Ferry Road)

  • Flavor: Something of everything: nature, urban, residential
  • Where: Beaverton
  • Distance: Four sections, with the shortest one being .7 mile and the longest being 1.8 miles
  • Level: Easy
  • Important to know: Portland Family Adventures has a good breakdown of the family biking experience, including video, though it may not be updated with the latest trail completions. The official map of the four Fanno Creek Trail sections is invaluable.The Greenway Park section is the most action-packed, including an adult obstacle course on the north end and kid playgrounds throughout, plus a disc golf course and basketball courts. The Fanno Farmhouse at 8405 S.W. Creekside Place, Beaverton, gives you access to the north end of the Greenway Park section. Looking at Google Maps, there is residential street parking on Southwest Settler Way. The access point is in the northeast portion of the upside down U-shaped street, closest to the intersection with Southwest Burnett Lane.
  • Things to see: Disc golf course, playgrounds, nature

If you know of a great spot for a bike ride… share the info and we’ll post it.

 

 

 

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