Esplanade loop ranked fifth best bike ride

familyonEastbankEsplanade

[The Eastbank Esplanade]

KGW reports that Sunset Magazine, which bills itself as “The Magazine of Western Living,” has ranked the “Willamette River Loop” the fifth best bike ride in the (western) U.S.

Fifth place wouldn’t be so bad, but we’re behind a trail in Los Angeles, California…ouch! (I can make fun of L.A. because I’m a sort-of former resident).

Here’s the complete list.

    1. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Paseo Del Bosque Trail

    2. Boulder, Colorado: Boulder Creek Path

    3. Denver, Colorado: Cherry Creek Trail

    4. Los Angeles, California: South Bay Bicycle Trail

    5. Portland, Oregon: Willamette River Loop

    6. Salt Lake City, Utah: Jordan River Parkway Trail

    7. San Francisco, California: Bike the Golden Gate

    8. San Jose, California: Los Gatos Creek Trail

    9. Seattle Washington: Burke-Gilman Trail

    10. Tempe, Arizona: Rio Salado Paths

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Editrix
Editrix
16 years ago

Cherry Creek? The Highline Canal trail in Denver is the one I miss the most. Peaceful, bucolic, gorgeous, and yet right in the center of town (and ?60-something? miles long).

Springwater’s OK (why didn’t it make the list?), but the Highline was: mwaah! magnifico!

Erik
Erik
16 years ago

I lived in south bay LA and the beach bike path is pretty nice… but what about the Springwater coridor?? maybe it would place better if it was paved better without the washboard bumps.

sherry
sherry
16 years ago

I just took my parents who were visiting from CA on this ride a couple weeks ago. They loved the views, the art, the accessibility…it was a gorgeous day – what a fantastic way to see Portland!

Lee
16 years ago

It’s nice to get listed in pubs like Sunset and Bicycling magazine. It’s a boon to cycling here in Portland where I consider it the nirvana of cities.

Sorry but, I would have had Burke-Gilman higher because it has a dirt path on the side for runners. Here in Portland, we have to be so aware of the other traffic like walkers, bladers and dog leashes. MUP’s can be dangerous at times. However, the Esplanade is beautiful.

Springwater needs a little cleanup for sure. I’d hope that’s on the agenda at some point.

Cecil
Cecil
16 years ago

The South Bay Trail is excellent, as are most of the paths I rode when I lived in that area. In the summer it can be a bit hairy, what with the roller bladers and the joggers, but that’s true for almost every such path.

Springwater as a concept is great, in reality it is for the most part a bad chip-seal nightmare for road bikes until you reach the glory of Gresham’s asphalt . . .fix that and it would be much higher on my list of good rides.

I would argue with the “Best in the US” description though – I haven’t read the Sunset article, but I note that all the trails listed are western, which makes sense because Sunset only covers the West. The East Coast has some magnificent bike trails, including some of the best “Rails to Trails” in the country. The Simsbury/Avon/Farmington Valley trail in Connecticut is my all-time favorite.

Pete Jacobsen
Pete Jacobsen
16 years ago

I note that all top ten rides are in the west. Denver is the farthest east. I guess there is less land available, but I think the rails/trails started back east.

Ethan
16 years ago

Someone should send a copy to SK Northwest . . . and the creep who runs the Portland Spirit.

steve
steve
16 years ago

If you get stuck in Cincinatti, Ohio the Little Miami Scenic Trail, around 80 miles long, is excellent. It starts on the east side of the city. I’ve ridden maybe 20 miles of it north out of Loveland. Very nice through farmland:

http://www.yellowsprings.com/bikepath.html#lmst

I tried riding the Springwater in August and lost it somewhere in SE – actually I think I lost it a few times- but then I’d look on my “Bike There” map and navigate back to it. It was rough in places, but was good for a workout since it has some length to it.

The Burke Gilman in Seattle is very nice but it has too many intersections with streets so you are constantly on alert for cars.

The local rural highways make great bike trails – the only drawback is you occasionally get maimed or killed by cars. That sucks.

West Union doesn’t have much traffic. Neither does Jackson School Road or Helvetia Road. Ditto Pumpkin Ridge and Old Pumpkin Ridge Road. And quite a few other roads on the west side. Perhaps we can get the county to lower the speed limit to 25 mph on some of those roads so we can have a safe place to ride out here on the west side of town. Nah. They’d rather keep killing us.

Dog
Dog
16 years ago

I’m a little surprised to not see the Centennial Trail which begins in Riverside State Park in the city of Spokane and ends in Idaho. I used to ride from my house to Riverside State Park – no having to drive anywhere.
Sure the state park is dry and scrubby looking with pine trees, but there are few cars, a 20 mph speed limit, a river running through it and one hill that you can exceed 50 mph down without worrying about a stop sign or some other impediment.
One time, however, a family was walking its dog, and I had just come down the hill, I was cruising a little over 30 mph when their dog got loose. One of the kids started screaming as the dog started charging me as fast as it could run. I grabbed my water bottle and squirted a stream toward him and you should’ve seen him slam on his brakes!
If you continue on the trail you ride through Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane, follow along the Spokane River and into Idaho. I haven’t lived there for a long time, so I don’t know how far into Idaho it goes now.
Three things I miss about Spokane: easy access to x-skiing and biking – you literally don’t have to drive to get to excellent rural, road biking; countless, clean, deep, warm lakes; and finally, blue skies. Everything else sucks.

Clarence
16 years ago

How this list can possibly leave off the Hudson River Greenway in NYC shows what pure hogwash this list is. So I’d say to anyone who’s favorite rides didn’t get listed – the magazine obviously isn’t doing its research.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
16 years ago

Clarence (and others),

Sunset is “The Magazine of Western Living” so they don’t cover the East Coast. Perhaps I should have mentioned this in the article (what an amateur). I will go back and add this now.

jim
jim
15 years ago

How about the Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle. That’s a whole lot of fun. Did it this year. 100 miles along the PCH. Beautiful!

Anonymous
Anonymous
14 years ago

I can\’t believe the Chicago lakefront bike path isn\’t on there.

kg
kg
14 years ago

Umm, It\’s SUNSET magazine, you transplants should check it out it\’s a magazine for US Left coasters.

Chuck-C
Chuck-C
14 years ago

6. Salt Lake City, Utah: Jordan River Parkway Trail

Somewhat of a surprise choice. I lived in SLC for 5 years and would not rate this trail as very bike friendly. Too narrow and crowed with runners, folks with dogs, etc. Not even many family riders will go on this.

sam
sam
14 years ago

Hawthorne Trail in Gainesville, Florida is pretty respectable, too, if we\’re talking the whole U.S. It goes through scenic Payne\’s Prarie, and is well-paved throughout.

Ted Buehler
12 years ago

The East/West Bank Esplanades is one of the coolest rides around, good on Portland for building it and Sunset for recognizing it.

Davis, CA definitely needs to do more publicity for its 12 mile “Bike Loop”
http://www.vimeo.com/942665

Ted Buehler