BikePortland

Video: The secret slough path everyone should know about


Subject of video is solid purple line. Dashed line is another section of “Alderwood Trail”.

Our latest video takes you to a little-known section of the Columbia Slough tucked between NE 92nd and the I-205 bike path. It’s a great place to ride that, before last weekend, I never even knew about.

I was riding home from the Cascade Station shopping center when I stumbled upon an entrance to the Slough. Upon investigation, I found a beautiful stretch of path that was full of shade trees and had some of the clearest Slough water I’ve ever seen — much to the liking of a huge Blue Heron!

Turns out I was on what some folks know as the Alderwood Trail. This multi-use path actually begins north of Alderwood just east of 82nd Avenue (see dashed line at right). Then it crosses south on 92nd to connect to the Slough all the way to the 205 path. In total it’s about one-mile in length. You probably have never ridden it because it doesn’t really connect to a major route since most folks get to the 205 path via Marine Drive.

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Even so, it’s worth checking out next time you’re in the area. And as I mention in the video, Alderwood isn’t great to bike on, so if you know this little path is here it makes for a safer and fun, east-west alternate.

As for details on this path, 40-Mile Loop volunteer and retired Portland Parks planner Jim Sjulin says it was most likely built in the early 2000s by the Port of Portland (it abuts a PDX Airport employee parking lot). Jim says the easement for the trail dates back to 1991.

Another reason I wanted to highlight this path is to increase urgency to complete the Slough Trail. As many of you know, the current Slough trail starts in north Portland southeast of Smith & Bybee lakes and runs to North Vancouver Ave. That leaves a five-mile gap (see graphic at right) between where the path currently ends and where this section begins. It will take a concerted effort by government agencies and advocacy groups to make this path whole. Let’s do it!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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