Close to the city, no obstacles and gradual inclines.
Forest Park has very specific bike-legal trails. Be sure to stay on these:
Leif Erikson Drive, Saltzman Road
, Springville Road
, BPA Road
, Newton Road
, Holman Lane
, Firelane 1
, Firelane 3
, Firelane 5
, Firelane 10
, Firelane 12
, and Firelane 15
When people talk about biking of any kind in Forest Park, they are likely talking about Leif Erikson Drive. This nearly 11-mile long gravel doubletrack serves as the main artery for two wheels in Forest Park. Most of the other bike-legal trails connect to this gravel road.
Parking is at either end: the northern trailhead (Germantown rd) has a larger lot but is a little out of the way. The southern trailhead is a small lot at the end of a neighborhood street (Thurman) but there's plenty of street parking nearby.
Never super steep, this can be a leisurely pedal after work or school, or a way to get in some miles during the rainy winter. The southern half is a more steady or consistent grade, while the northern half is a little more rolling up and down. Note that these are minor differences. The doubletrack is always broad and has plenty of room for a few bikes and a few runners to pass each other, but still practice good trail etiquette and announce yourself. Expect lots of runners, hikers, and some dogs.
Although it is lacking in views (you get one tiny view of half of the Saint Johns Bridge) the forest is nice and calming. Big leaf maples, douglas fir, and the other usual trees of this part of Oregon line the roadway and make for nice scenery.
It's somewhat rocky and bumpy, so fat and soft tires are nice. And it tends to be muddy in winter, so fenders are nice then. A cyclocross or gravel bike with medium to large tires is a good choice, or get an even smoother ride on a mountain bike, although suspension is not needed. Just about any kind of bike can ride on this, although skinny road tires would be a bumpy ride.
Shared By: Brock Warner