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Forest Park

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J F M A M J J A S O N D

29 mi 47 km of trail 1 Recommended Route

Easy Trails 4 Trails Intermediate Trails 8 Trails Hard Trails 1 Trail

Large (about 5,000 acres) natural park in Portland with roughly 30 miles of dirt/gravel roads and 30 miles of trails. Most roads are open to bikes, while trails are generally only open to pedestrians. The following Forest Park roads are currently open to bicyclists: Leif Erikson Road, Saltzman Road, Springville Road, BPA Road, Newton Road, and Firelanes 1, 3, 5, 10, 12, 15 & Holman Lane (uphill only). All trails (except bit of Firelane 5 above Leif) and other roads in Forest Park are closed to bicycles.

Dogs are allowed on-leash.

Forest Park is a welcome large natural-feeling space in Portland, but was logged in Portland's early days so is largely second-growth and successional vegitation, not the big trees and open under-story that you'll find in an old-growth forest. It is also affected in many areas by invasive species including blackberry, ivy, and holly. Both roads and trails can be muddy in the wet times of year.

Local Info

Although Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country, opponents of cycling (including certain park neighbors) have thus far prevented bikes from getting access to significant singletrack.

If you are looking to "gravel grind" on unpaved roads, it's a nice escape into a natural setting within Portland. If you are looking for mountain biking, you'll need to drive an hour or more to get to good regional singletrack. The only short trail segments are on Firelane 5 (about 1/3 of a mile) and northerly parts of Newton Road which are trail-like for less than a mile.

The main road, Leif Erikson, roughly follows a gently climbing contour as it heads north from the Thurman gate along the length of the park. On nice weekends it’s a bit crowded with pedestrians near the Thurman trailhead but gets open a mile or two out. It’s somewhat muddy during wet periods.

The fire lanes are steep, short routes roughly perpendicular to Leif Erikson.

Visiting Tips

The roads are muddy during and immediately after rain. The main road, Leif Erikson Drive, can be crowded on nice weekend days near the Thurman Gate entrance, and there are many blind corners, so check your speed as appropriate.

For quality mountain biking you have to drive well out of Portland to the coast range, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, etc.

Outfitters, Tours, & Shuttles

Fat Tire Farm is a MTB shop near the park on Thurman.

Recommended Routes in Forest Park - 1

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Favorite Pretty day on Leif Erikson Drive.
Easy/Intermediate

Leif Erikson Road Plus

25.6 mi 41.2 km 1,566' Up 477.34 m Up 1,566' Down 477.44 m Down

Portland, OR

Trails in Forest Park - 12

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2.9 mi 4.7 km #1Saltzman Road
Easy/Intermediate
West Haven, OR
Easy/Intermediate
West Haven, OR
11.3 mi 18.2 km #2Leif Erikson Drive
Easy
Portland, OR
Easy
Portland, OR
1.2 mi 1.9 km #3Firelane 5
Intermediate
West Haven, OR
Intermediate
West Haven, OR
0.9 mi 1.5 km #4Firelane 3
Intermediate
West Haven, OR
Intermediate
West Haven, OR
1.0 mi 1.7 km #5Springville Road
Easy/Intermediate
West Haven, OR
Easy/Intermediate
West Haven, OR
0.9 mi 1.4 km #6Holman Lane
Intermediate/Difficult
Portland, OR
Intermediate/Difficult
Portland, OR
2.4 mi 3.9 km #7Firelane 1
Intermediate/Difficult
West Haven, OR
Intermediate/Difficult
West Haven, OR
2.1 mi 3.3 km #8BPA Road
Difficult
Oak Hills, OR
Difficult
Oak Hills, OR
1.6 mi 2.5 km #9Firelane 12
Intermediate
Portland, OR
Intermediate
Portland, OR
2.0 mi 3.2 km #10Newton Road
Intermediate
Cedar Mill, OR
Intermediate
Cedar Mill, OR
1.4 mi 2.3 km #11Firelane 10
Intermediate
Cedar Mill, OR
Intermediate
Cedar Mill, OR
1.3 mi 2.2 km #12Firelane 15
Intermediate
Portland, OR
Intermediate
Portland, OR

Photos of Forest Park - 7

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The start of Firelane 5.
Apr 30, 2017 near West Haven, OR
Pretty day on Leif Erikson Drive.
Aug 31, 2016 near West Haven, OR
About the hardest thing you'll come across!
Sep 5, 2017 near West Haven, OR
View of St. Johns Bridge
Jul 19, 2013 near West Haven, OR
A bicyclist stops to check out the site remains of the former homestead on the Erikson Trail. Bill Cunningham Photo,
Feb 28, 2018 near West Haven, OR
While it's hard to convey steepness in photos, there is plenty of it on BPA Road.
Nov 29, 2016 near Cedar Mill, OR
Firelane 10 can get plenty wet and muddy hill in late fall.
Nov 29, 2016 near Cedar Mill, OR