Mountain biking in Portland

There are many opportunities for people in the Portland area to get out and enjoy nature. From walking to mountain biking, Portlanders do it all. The Rose City has numerous biking trails inside the city limits and several just a short drive away.

With over 14 trails around the Portland area, there are trails for people of all ages and skill levels. Many are good for beginning mountain bikers, or those who like to keep it simple. For those bikers who like a challenge, there are the advanced technical trails that have numerous obstacles for riders to scale. Such as fallen trees, boulders, or washed out parts of trails.

A good intermediate trail is Henry Hagg Lake. The lake is just about 20 minutes west of Portland, near Forest Grove. The 14.5-mile trail loops you around the man-made lake, through deep forests, hills and rough spots, along with some long flat areas. At times there can be some washed out portions of the trail that just get you a little muddy.

“The lake is a good trail. It’s hard to find intermediate trails,” Howard Boryer of Portland United Mountain Pedalers (PUMP) said.

The area trails have a variance in length riders can chose from. The short, 4.3-mile trail of the Springville Road Loop in Northwest Portland jumps back and forth from paved to gravel. Cyclists looking for more challenge might prefer the 26.2-mile jaunt for mountain biking enthusiasts through the Springwater Corridor. The Corridor journey takes you along Johnson Creek and through the southern Portland area.

Other great biking trails inside the city are the fire lanes of Forest Park, although only some of the fire lanes are open to mountain bikers. Fire Lanes one and three are accessible to riders. They utilize Leif Erikson Drive and Skyline Boulevard. This is an easy 10.5-mile ride with some paved parts and wide lanes.

Along with the many trails around Portland, there are numerous mountain biking clubs. Clubs like PUMP plan group rides and also do a lot of maintenance and cleanup work on the trails.

The PUMP club started back in 1987, with a goal of getting trails around the Portland area reopened, starting with the Leif Erikson trail, Boryer said.

PUMP does a Wednesday night ride every week in Forest Park. After this ride the group usually heads down to a local bar for food and drinks. Often the PUMP team and any other volunteers stay around and do a little maintenance work on the trails.

Dedicated to keeping the trails clean and accessible, the PUMP club also sponsors a work party every second Saturday of the month. This party is mainly dedicated to maintenance and clearing of the trails.

With a wide variety of trails and clubs to choose from, Portlanders can get out and cruise through the majestic scenes Portland has hidden away.