It’s getting to be that time of year again. The rain returns, pumpkin flavored beer, rain, fall colors, rain, more rain. But let’s look for the silver linings on all these clouds! Sometimes we get a nice crisp fall day which we can all take advantage of. Last year, we put together a list of fall rides to help you make the most of your fall! When we do get one of those nice days where the sun comes to visit, you can be prepared with this list of local scenic routes that can be found right in our back yard!
1. Terwilliger Bike Path is a relatively easy bike path starting at Charter House at OHSU, following Capital Highway, passing Tryon creek and ending at Lake Oswego. The bike path is mostly downhill and separated from the road. It’s perfect if you want to have a family day out with your kids! You can find a detailed map of the route here.
2. The Banks-Vernonia State Trail is a part of a non-profit effort to repurpose unused railways called “Rails to Trails.” The path used to be a part of a railway system from Portland to Seattle, and is now a 21 mile trail. Cross waterways like Beaver Creek and the Nehalem River, and view the massive trestles used during the heyday of the railroad. Take a look at the trail here.
3. The Forest Park Trails are a great way to get a little closer to nature while sticking around the neighborhood. From Leif Erickson Drive to Saltzman Road to Newton Road to Firelanes 1, 3, 5, 10, 12 and 15, there are dozens of miles open to cyclists throughout Forest Park. The park sports an amazing tree canopy, picturesque greenery and an abundance of wildlife.
Keep in mind the trails in Forest Park can be pretty rough compared to urban trails, and you will want to take a bike that can comfortably navigate the gravel roads. Take a look at a map of the park here.
4. Take a ride down the Springwater Corridor Trail and enjoy some of the local wetlands and wildlife. The trail intertwines with Johnson Creek and has more than ten bridges crossing the water! Johnson Creek is credited as one of the last free flowing bodies of water in the Portland metro area. Take a look here.
5. Enjoy the wonderful sights of the Gorge by taking a ride paralleling the Columbia Historic Highway. When I took this trip, I started at the Eagle Creek Trailhead and had a great time. Taking this trail will give a great view of Bonneville Dam and passes by a fish hatchery. Stop by the Bridge of the Gods to see the Mural, or support the locals selling smoked salmon. Or if you’re feeling hungry, consider stopping by Eastwind Drive-In to grab a burger! You can find a detailed map of the route here.
If you get out to one of these rides, take some pictures to memorialize our rare clear skies. Or show us your Wet Northwest Spirit with some moisture heavy images! Tweet us some pictures you take to @pdxpedpow on Twitter, or on our Facebook page. We’d love to see your ride!
The Bank Vernonia trail is amazing in that you pedal up the hill and coast down the other side. The hill isn’t hard as it’s an old rail line. Children can handle it easily. But the coast down the other side is unbelievable – a couple of miles of just riding your bike under the trees. It doesn’t matter which way you take the trail – North or South – as the hill is in the middle. A great ride. ALL the trails mentioned here are enjoyable.