Some of our favorite bike trails.
Whether you are new to the neighborhood, a tourist, or someone who has been here all of your life, it is our goal to consistently bring you the best resources for rides in the area. If you'd rather explore these wonderful bicycle rides in group, try our guided bike tours service—all designed to fit your needs.
(Rating: EASY) Length: 3, 12 or 15 mile options
Portland at its heart is the Willamette River, the ebb and flow of commerce and fun, where wildlife and urban dwellers converge. Enjoy the river and experience the city from a new perspective on a bicycle. Ride two of Portland’s major bicycle commuting bridges (Steel & Hawthorne).
The ride begins in historic old town through the Saturday Market Plaza under the Burnside Bridge, across the Steel Bridge to ride along a floating trail (longest in the US) on the Eastbank Esplanade while the sun glints on the cityscape.
Continue south to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). Stop and see views of the river, bridges and a decommissioned US Submarine. The Eastbank Esplanade joins the Springwater Corridor which provides nearly four miles of uninterrupted riding along the river and the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy watching the heron wade in the wetlands and osprey nesting above.
You can retrace your steps back to the Hawthorne Bridge (12 mile loop) or ride on to the three bridges section of the Springwater Corridor (15 mile loop).
Washington Park Rose Gardens & Japanese Gardens
(Rating: Moderate) 6 miles from Old Town; Easy via MAX to the Zoo 3 miles
No better way to take in Portland (the Rose City ) than to see and smell the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. It really is a twofer as the Portland Japanese Garden are just up the hill from the Rose Gardens. The Japanese Garden is a magnificent oasis of tranquility nestled against the west hills of Portland.
Both gardens are an easy accessible bike ride from historic old town. Along the way to the gardens you’ll pass through the newly revamped Chinatown, the brewery blocks near venerable Powell’s Books, the Pearl District and Nob Hill. Each of these areas boasts shopping and cafes. A picnic can be quickly organized at Elephants delicatessen or Zupan’s market each just a few blocks from the from the gardens. An old closed road with a canopy of trees winds its way up the hill and brings you to the Rose Garden.
The rose gardens have picturesque views of downtown Portland and Mt. Hood in the background. There are hundreds of roses from traditional roses to new hybrids, from miniatures to climbers.
The Japanese Gardens have been voted the best Japanese Gardens outside of Japan. The garden consists of 7 separate gardens each with its own feel and meaning.
Don’t feel like riding up hill, but still want to see the gardens? You’re in luck. Take your bike on the MAX at SW First and Oak Street and ride to the Oregon Zoo. From the zoo it’s an easy ride to the rose and Japanese gardens.
Eastside Neighborhood Ride
Portland is a city of neighborhoods, each with their own distinct flavor. Spend an afternoon and explore Portland’s East side neighborhoods – parks, shopping, cafes, breweries, coffee shops and bakeries.
The list of neighborhoods includes: Ladd’s Addition, Hawthorne, Belmont, Laurelhurst, Beaumont, Alameda, Alberta and Mississippi.
Each neighborhood is unique and captures a different flavor of how Portlanders work, live and play. Be a Portlander for the day and join in the accessible friendly vibe that makes each of these livable neighborhoods come alive.
Twin Peaks Ride
(Rating: Moderate to Hard) Length: approx. 20 miles (It can be adjusted to accommodate all riders)
The Twin Peaks ride is a complete Portland experience, that includes the physical landscape (two extinct volcanoes – Mt. Tabor & Rocky Butte) the Willamette River and visiting many of Portland's eclectic neighborhoods.
The ride starts in historic old town at the Smith Block building amid the cast iron and brick storefronts from the 1880s. The ride continues along the Willamette River and crosses the Hawthorne Bridge to Ladd's Addition. The diagonal street layout and traffic roundabouts each with their own rose garden. This differentiates this historic district from the surrounding neighborhoods. It’s a short ride on to the Hawthorne Neighborhood with its numerous shops and restaurants. The climb to Mt. Tabor begins an approximate 400 foot elevation gain. The east-side of Mt. Tabor provides views of Mt. Hood through the Douglas firs. While the top provides views back to downtown Portland's cityscape.
A quick descent down and a short ride brings you to the base of Rocky Butte. Enjoy scenic views of the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, and Mt St. Helens from the castle like WPA works project at the top (Joseph Wood Hill Park). Descend and ride along Alameda Ridge with (great views of downtown) and then through some of Portland's finest, older homes in the Irvington Neighborhood. The ride nears the end when you cross over the Broadway Bridge into the Pearl District with its trendy shops and restaurants. Enjoy!
Forest Park/Leif Erikson Drive
(Rating: Moderately Difficult) 20-30 miles (4 miles of city to the park entrance and 11 miles one way of trail inside Forest Park)
Explore Forest Park one of the largest urban forests in the United States (5000+ acres) by bike via Leif Erikson Drive. Leif Erikson Drive is a gravel and dirt road (for bikes and pedestrians only) that runs approximately 11 miles halfway up the ridge through the park. Don’t worry about the slightly bumpy ride your 27 speed bike is equipped with shocks on the front fork and directly beneath your seat.
Leave from old town and venture forth through the shopping and cafes of the Pearl District and Nob Hill to the Thurman Street Neighborhood. The last half mile of Thurman Street to Forest Park is the hardest part of the climb; don’t despair once inside Forest Park Leif Ericson Drive is gently rolling. Forest Park is heavily wooded with second and old growth forest. Glimpses of the Columbia and Willamette rivers and Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens can be seen through clearings in the forest.
You can ride halfway through the park and turnaround at Saltzman road (5.5 miles one way) or continue on to the western entrance at Germantown Road (11 miles one way). Either choice provides you a great combined city/urban forest ride. One of our favorite treats after this ride is a stop at St. Honore Boulangerie for French pastries or a bistro lunch.
Riding to the top of Council Crest brings you to the highest point within the Portland city limits. While the ride is a bit of a climb, you are rewarded with views of five Cascade volcanoes on a clear day – Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Jefferson. The 360 degree view of mountains, the Willamette Valley and the Tualatin Valley is one of the best in the city.
The ride begins in Historic old town and uses three modes of Portland’s bicycling infrastructure to take you through the heart of downtown: a buffered bicycle lane on Oak Street, a regular bicycle lane on Broadway that later turns into a cycle track lane completely separated from traffic.
A ride through Portland State University and the South Park Blocks brings you to Montgomery Street and the Portland Heights neighborhood. Portland Heights contains some of the finest, older homes in all of Portland. Refuel and pickup some picnic goodies at Strohecker’s market before reaching the top of Council Crest.
Descend via Fairmount loop and Terwilliger Boulevard.