BikePortland.org

Reader Ride Report: Discovering the Fanno Creek Trail


(A relaxing, carfree experience. Photos and story by Mike Perham)

Note: This report was submitted by longtime BikePortland reader, supporter (and recently co-owner!) Mike Perham.

My route.

I recently learned of the Fanno Creek Trail, a car-free bike/ped path running about 4 miles in length between Tigard and Beaverton. This trail is wonderful, flat and easy to ride for all ages.

I started on Main St in Tigard, got some coffee at Symposium Coffee (12345 SW Main Street) and started riding on the Heritage Trail next to it. What I didn’t realize is that this trail is not technically part of the Fanno Creek Trail (imagine the problem of having too many high-quality trails, woe is me!) and so when it ended, the connection to the Fanno Creek Trail (FCT) was a bit daunting.

If you do this ride, please learn from my mistake and either start at the Tigard City Library (map) or at the Fanno Creek crossing on SW Main St (look for the bright floral mural on the side of the building).

From there, the Tigard portion of the trail is amazing: plenty of woods in Woodard Park and Dirksen Nature Park with a newer, natural-style playground for kids. After two miles you’ll transition into Beaverton and follow alongside Fanno Creek. The trail has several basic playgrounds and basketball courts but no parking lots or immediate car access to any of it (the trail does have good connectivity with local neighborhoods so you can park on the streets nearby).

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On the north end of the trail, there’s a disc golf course and serene wetlands. I think I enjoyed that the most: just 15-20 minutes of easy, stress-free riding in nature. My GPS app showed about 8 miles roundtrip, mostly flat. It’s been months since I’ve been on a ride this relaxing.

Any issues? The trail does cross several arterials (large streets with fast traffic) but each has a very clear crosswalk and warning lights for car drivers. I noticed the north side in Beaverton has very few amenities: no benches, restrooms or water fountains. If you need those, Dirksen Nature Park in Tigard has them. Since the trail is mostly asphalt, the ride can be bumpy due to frost heave (note to self: look into a suspension seatpost).

But in the end, these are minor quibbles. The Fanno Creek Trail is one of the best trails in the Portland Metro area and an amazing asset for Tigard and Beaverton. If you’re on the west side and haven’t ridden it yet, get over there while the weather is still good.

Thanks for sharing Mike! If you’d like to submit a report, please send text and photos to Jonathan Maus (who is recovering from a broken clavicle and not able to work as much as usual) via maus.jonathan@gmail.com.

— Mike Perham, @getajobmike on Twitter
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