Bike Riding In Portland Oregon

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Terwilliger Trail Offers A Beautiful Paved Route From Southern Portland To Lake Oswego

Pedalpalooza, Portland’s people-powered summer bicycle festival, is back

Terwilliger Trail is divided into two segments. One starts in downtown Portland and ends along I-5. The other segment has one endpoint on Terwilliger Boulevard and ends at scenic Lake Oswego after passing through Tryon Creek State Park.

Both sections of the trail offer nice scenic views and plenty of tree cover while still feeling close to city life. It is an easy route for cyclists of all levels, so this is a great option if you want to start taking your bike out on trails but dont feel confident yet.

  • Address: SW 6th Avenue Sheridan Street to Slavin Street, Portland, OR 97201, United States

M Moderate Hilly 1800ft : East Out And Back

Riding into the Columbia gorge is always breathtaking, the old historic highway 30 is popular in the summer with cyclists. The ride offers amazing views from the Womens Forum and Vista House along with gradual climbs and multiple route variations. One thing to watch out for in high season, the locals of Corbett can be pretty aggressive with their driving and the roads narrow in points.

Leif Erikson Drive Ride

Bike Recommendations: Gravel,Mountain Bike, Hybrid & Kids Bikes

Leif Erikson Drive is wide trail running the length of Forest Park just to the west of downtown Portland. An automobile road in the early part of the century and now closed to motor traffic, this 11.2 mile trail extends from NW Thurman St to NW Germantown Road. Elevation gain from point to point is approximately 350 feet. Concrete mile marker posts note every 1/4 mile. This relatively smooth dirt and gravel road is ideal for a car free ride and can be ridden on just about any bike though for novice riders we recommend wider tires. This is a multi-use trail with a high density of walkers, runners, and dogs in the first two miles from the Thurman Street trailhead. Leif Erikson is a great route for a quick escape from the city into the woods without venturing too far from home.

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Find Your Way Around With These Resources And Recommended Bike Routes

With bike paths and lanes all over town not to mention cool forests and striking scenery Portland has great places to ride for cyclists of all abilities. Those who want to experience the City of Roses from the road have plenty of options, including guided bike tours and rental shops. For those who didnt bring their own wheels, one very visible option is the Biketown bike-share program, which offers visitors the opportunity to rent orange-colored eight-speed bicycles from many locations around the city. Biketown has also partnered with local bike rental company Kerr Bikes to create Adaptive Biketown, a program dedicated to increasing access to bicycles for those with disabilities.

Fanno Creek A Popular Bike Trail For The Enthusiastic Riders

Slide Show: An Epic Oregon Bike Ride

Fanno Creek Trail is located in the Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District, just a few miles west of Portland proper. This trail is short but popular, in part thanks to its ADA-accessibility, which makes it a good choice for cyclists and pedestrians of all abilities.

The trail follows Fanno Creek and takes you through several different landscapes, including forests and wetlands. Stop at any point along the trail to check out nearby parks, observe the birds, or just take in the scenery. If you are starting at the head of the trail, check out the Garden Home Recreation Center, which offers special programming, including for children.

  • Address: Fanno Creek Trail, Portland, OR, United States

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Best Parks For Cycling

Explore these Portland parks on two wheels like the locals.

Laurelhurst Park

This park surrounds a scenic lake and was the first city park named to the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, it offers picnic areas, a horseshoe pit, an off-leash area for dogs, and basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts.

Mt. Tabor Park

This prominent park features a large forested park with 360-degree views, a reservoir, a performance stage, and tennis courts.

Rocky Butte

This park is an extinct volcanic cinder cone butte. It provides an excellent relaxing option for sweeping views of the city, airport, and river. On a clear day, you can view both Mt. Hood & Mt. Saint Helen.

Council Crest

Council crest is the highest point in Portland at 1,073 feet above sea level. At the top of this hill, visitors can see five mountains in the Cascade Range: Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson, and Mount Rainier.

Dire Need Of Resurfacing

I rode the trail from Banks to Vernonia and back with some extra explorations for a total of 49 miles on a Trek Dual Sport. The trail is a beautiful trail migrating through the woods. It does have a long 7-mile uphill that starts about 5 miles into the ride, but it is not a serious grade. That said, my lady will tell you that it is uphill for a long time. There is one very serious switchback trek that is about a 10 percent grade. It can be done, and it is fairly short. Overall, getting to Vernonia was a good ride, but anticlimactic once I arrived. The best part of this ride is going through the woods. However, where I would probably give the ride a 4/5 rating, the condition of the path destroys much of the beauty. If you are not paying attention, you just might go down. The condition is dangerous especially on the 7-mile downhill. Why? Because a large portion of the path was done with chip seal. If you do not know what it is, see: Beyond the horrible chip seal surface is the degradation of sections that have morphed into craters and potholes. If that is not bad enough, every bridge is between 2″ and 6″ higher that the path surface. If you do not brace yourself, good luck. Bottom line, I am sad that the trail is listed as a must and one of the best in Oregon, but it does not warrant that billing in the present day condition.

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Take Part In A Quirky Organized Bike Ride

While simply hopping on a bike and riding around the city or pedaling along one of the greenways can be fun, Portland is also home to a number of quirky bike rides. First and foremost, their World Naked Bike Ride which is exactly what it sounds like is the largest in the country and promotes the vulnerability of cyclists compared to cars every June. Also during June is Pedalpalooza, featuring 3+ weeks with hundreds of organized bike rides, many with weird themes like bike jousting, teddy bears or Star Wars vs. Star Trek. You can also be a Zoobomber for a night, as this weekly ride involves riding a childrens bike often in crazy costume downhill at 35 mph near the Portland Zoo every Sunday around 8:30PM near 13th & SW Burnside.

Cyclists using a Protected Intersection. Photo taken by Jessica Festa using the Nokia Lumia Icon.

M Punchy 3200ft : West Loops

Woman Has No Memory of How She Sustained Horrible Injuries During Bike Ride

An older version of South West Uppers.Pleasure no treasure climbs Pittock Mansion first. Pleasure No Treasure This is one of my favourite short punchy rides on sweet local roads. With a high amount of climbing, good if you are trying to mix interval training in. This ride also captures two classic view areas Pittock Mansion and Council Crest. This ride can easily be modified by removing some loops.

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Preparing Your Bike For Takeoff

A safe bike is essential. This list will ensure a safe and trouble-free ride. If your bike doesnt pass these checks, take it to a bike shop for inspection, questions, or repair.

Tire pressure

Correct tire pressure avoids flats and makes your ride easier. The recommended tire pressure is listed on the side of your tire. Check pressure with a pump with a gauge. If you dont have a gauge, pump your tires to a firmness where its difficult to push your fingers into the tire. Most tire pumps are adaptable to either type of the valves.

Tire wear and tear

It is common for tires to become worn after about 1,000 miles of riding. Tires can also get hard and brittle with age. Check the sides of your tires for significant cracks. Frequent flats may also be a sign the tread is thin, and the tire needs replacing.


A wheel should not wobble when it rotates. A wobbly, untrue wheel can rubagainst the brake pads and cause your brakes to perform poorly. To check, turn your bike upside down and spin the wheels while looking closely at the brake pads. Ensure the gap between the rim and the brake pad staysconstant.


Good brakes are essential. When you squeeze your brake levers, they should stop before they touch the handlebars. If they dont, tighten the brake cable. Your brakes may have a cable adjusting barrel that allows you to do this easily. Use an old rag to keep your rims free of dirt and grease, especially when youve been riding during wet weather.

Quick release


Roses Parks And Greens Tour

8.6 miles mostly flat, with two short blocks of climbing near Sabin school and downhill through Rose City Golf Course

Enjoy a tour along residential streets and greenways of northeast to the many diverse green spaces of the Rose City, including a community orchard and a hydro park.


Rose City Park

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Great Portland Road Rides

A collection of Portland cycling routes, some classics. They all start and end close to the city, offering a solid feel to Portland area. Some are hilly, some are more flat but all are ideal for a quick spin, winter base miles or summer fun. To note for people from out of town Most of the rides here do have some elevation change, watch the numbers

Row River Trail A National Recreation Trail With Beautiful Surroundings

biking in portland

The area around Portland used to be heavily industrialized, which is why many trails, including Row River Trail, follow abandoned railroad tracks. Besides a railroad track, the Row River Trail is also distinctive because it is part of the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway. The trail takes you past the historic covered bridges of Lane County, which has the highest concentration of them this side of the country.

However, Row River Trail is not just important for its man-made landmarks. Check out the beautiful natural landmarks along the way, including the Cascades foothills and a scenic mountain lake.

  • Address: Springfield Interagency Office3106 Pierce Parkway, Suite E Springfield, OR 97477, United States
  • Row River Trail Website

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Springwater On The Willamette

From downtown, cross the Willamette River via the bike-friendly Hawthorne Bridge and follow a 3-mile path between OMSI and the Sellwood Bridge. This is the Springwater on the Willamette, the westernmost leg of the Springwater Corridor, a rails-to-trails project. From this section of the trail, you can access Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Sellwood Riverfront Park and Oaks Amusement Park or head into the Sellwood neighborhood for food, drink and shopping.

  • Council Crest

    At 1,073 feet above sea level, Council Crest is the highest point in Portland. From the top of the hill visitors can see five mountains in the Cascade Range: Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Jefferson and Mount Rainier.

Related Portland Events & Info

700 N Rosa Parks Way

2022 will be different. There will be a PDXWNBR on July 30th, but it will be a smaller ride, just one of many great events during Pedalpalooza BIKE SUMMER. Find out details about these rides here.

Do not ride drunk. The police can arrest you for that, and even if they dont its just a stupid thing to do.

Ride at your own risk and watch where youre going. Be careful. Be sober.

About NudityWere using nudity as a way to draw attention to cycling, and the folly of oil dependency. We hope motorists will begin to suspect cyclists have more fun, and hence maybe they dont need their cars as much as they thought. See the web site for more socio-political propaganda.

Its also good, goofy fun.

About Your BikeRide the bike you have. Dont obsess over the hardware any bike will work.

If you have multiple bikes then we recommend a fat-tire mountain bike or cruiser over a superskinny-tire road bike. This is because fat tires are less likely to get a flat, or slip on railroad tracks or a steel grate bridge. Might be a bit cushier to ride, too. But really any bike that works for riding will work just fine.

You should bring a spare tube. If your bike doesnt have quick-release skewers, then you should also bring wrenches that fit your bikes lug nuts. If convenient, you should also bring a pump and tire levers.

Frequently Asked Questions

And please remember to tag photos and posts with #pdxwnbr.


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Springwater Corridor The Perfect Spot For A Scenic Route Through Nature

The Springwater Corridor is another trail in the Portland area that follows an abandoned set of rail tracks. It is part of the 40-Mile Loop, which will eventually connect many of Portlands major parks and recreation areas.

The Springwater Corridor is worth a trip because of the diversity of its scenery. Part of the trail passes through Portlands vibrant neighborhoods, but you also cycle through some majestic natural vistas, including buttes and wetlands. The corridor connects several of Portlands major parks, including the Leach Botanical Garden and Powell Butte Nature Park, so extend your trip with a visit to any of those.

M Punchy 2500ft : Loops

Worst day of the year to ride a bike? Portland has an event for that

This is my go to less than 2hr ride. Sweet local roads with a high amount of climbing. Great if you are trying to mix interval training in. This ride captures a variety of great architecture along with a great scenic view of Portland from Council Crest. This ride can easily be modified by removing some loops.

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Breakfast On Hawthorne Bridge

Hungry in the morning but dont want to pay for breakfast? Ride a bike. Portland has a unique program where coffee and donuts are offered free of charge to cyclists and pedestrians between 7-9am on the last Friday of every month on Hawthorne Bridge, the countrys oldest vertical-lift bridge and Portlands oldest highway bridge. According to my Portland Bicycle Tours guide, its interesting to note Hawthorne Bridge is the most popular cycling bridge in Oregon, with 20% of rides per day by bike. The most record-breaking day was during the 2013 World Naked Bike Ride Portlands is the largest in the country where 9,000 people in one day biked over the bridge. On average, there are about 5-7,000 bikers per day going over the bridge in the summer and 2-3,000 in the winter. to see the current counter numbers. Bonus: the bridge offers beautiful views of the Willamette River and the city.

Street murals. Photo taken by Jessica Festa with a NikonD5100.

Some Of Portlands Most Knowledgeable Route

One of the best things about cycling in Portland is how quickly you can leave the city for an epic, scenic bike ride. But with only a map, it can be hard to tell which unfamiliar roads are bike-friendly. Riding in well-marked bike lanes can still suck if they’re on high-speed or high-traffic roads. But plenty of streets without bike lanes are low-traffic enough that the whole road becomes a bike lane.

“To me, that’s really the beauty of the bike,” says Dave Guettler, owner of River City Bicycles. “You can really get out and learn your environment and get a feel for wherever you are.”

But for less experienced riders, not knowing what you’re getting yourself into can be terrifying. Thankfully, some of Portland’s most knowledgeable route-discoverers were willing to share their favorite rides.

By Dave Guettler, owner of River City Bicycles.

30 miles, 4,133 ft. total ascent.

View map here.

Alternate Springwater

By Erik Tonkin, owner of Sellwood Cycles.

28 miles, 1,825 ft. total ascent.

View map here.

Improved Council Crest

By Anna Grace Christiansen, professional racing cyclist and co-host of the podcast We Got to Hang Out.

16.3 miles, 1,365 ft. total ascent.

View map here.

Smith and Bybee Lakes to Kelley Point Park

By Jonathan Maus of Bike Portland, adapted by Emily Guise of Bike Loud PDX.

19.7 miles, 369 ft. total ascent.

View maphere.

East Buttes Leap Frog

By Ryan Francesconi of Our Mother the Mountain.

28.2 miles, 1,354 ft. total ascent.

View map here.

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Top 15 Best Bike Trails In And Around Portland

Portland is a city famous for its love of cycling and here youll find over 350 miles of bikeways/cycle routes. Theres also a huge variety of routes on offer so from leisurely scenic rides to more of a strenuous cardio workout, here are some of the best bike and cycle trails around Portland, Oregon

Stub Stewart Mtb Ride

The Portlander

Bike Recommendations: Gravel / Cyclocross, Any Mountain Bike& Kids Bikes

L. L. Stub Stewart Memorial State Park is a 1,654-acre Oregon state park located 34 miles west of Portland. Its a quick trip by car and the park offers just under 8 miles of mountain bike trails for all skill levels along with sites for picnicking, camping, cabin rentals, and access to the paved Banks-Vernonia trail. Purpose-built cross-country trails can be linked together for a nearly endless flow of riding and theres two ferried trails designed to test riders with berms, jumps, drops, trail gaps, and a wallride. Bring a picnic and enjoy great views from the Hilltop Day Use Area in between or after runs.

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