forest park

With Forest Park on the table, Portland’s off-road cycling debate is heating up

by on August 25th, 2016 at 2:57 pm

Forest Park-4

A common sight in Forest Park.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Here we go again.

After seven months of advisory committee meetings, tonight the City of Portland will unveil a first draft of a list of potential sites to build new off-road cycling facilities. And like we’ve seen several times in the past, now that the moment of truth is drawing closer, people who want to prevent any improvement in bike access in local parks and natural areas are digging in for a fight.

This time the action is swirling around the city’s Off Road Cycling Master Plan process, a $350,000 effort to once-and-for-all create a comprehensive strategy to address the growing demand for places where Portlanders can ride a bicycle on dirt trails that doesn’t require a drive to Hood River, Sandy, or the Coast Range. The plan doesn’t draw any lines on the map, nor does it mandate the construction of any new trails. Its goal is to create a citywide inventory of where off-road cycling could work and what type of facility could be built at each site (it’s looking at all forms of dirt riding, from singletrack to skills parks and “pump tracks”). Part of that inventory is likely to include Forest Park, a location steeped in emotion and controversy on boths sides of this debate.

And since this is Portland and the city is talking about riding bicycles on dirt trails in Forest Park, a group of people who are vehemently resistant to any changes to the status quo have emerged to try and stop any forward movement.
[Read more…]

Parks’ new ‘land stewardship manager’ could have big impact on off-road cycling

by on December 2nd, 2015 at 2:46 pm

Forest Park "No Bikes" signs-2

(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A new position currently being offered by the Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) bureau could have a huge impact on the future of off-road cycling.

PP&R’s new Land Stewardship Division Manager will be a senior-level manager who will make between $95,000 and $128,000 and will report directly to bureau director Mike Abbaté. Currently when Parks approaches a large policy or project they use a number of different types of planners and managers who all report to one project manager. This new position would, “bring together all land management expertise, knowledge and strategies under one manager.”

Here are the responsibilities of the new position as taken from the official job description:

Responsibilities include planning, organizing, directing and evaluating the programs, activities, and personnel of the division of approximately 150 employees who protect, maintain, restore and enhance the 11,000 acres of land managed by the Bureau that are part of a regionally ecologically significant system of open spaces, ranging from natural resource areas to highly developed parks to active recreation facilities. This position also oversees ecologists, horticultural services, community gardens, a plant nursery, turf and irrigation maintenance, environmental education, the integrated pest management program, and the recreational trails program.

[Read more…]

Forest Park to get new main entrance, nature center on Highway 30

by on July 17th, 2015 at 2:58 pm


Red star is approximate location of future Forest Park main entrance and parking lot.

Thanks to a $1.5 million gift secured by this legislative session by State Representative Mitch Greenlick, the Portland Parks & Recreation bureau announced today they’ve begun the planning for an official entrance to Forest Park.[Read more…]

Route advisory: Leif Erikson closure means major detours through Friday

by on June 9th, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Vernonia Overnighter

(Photo J. Maus/

Sorry for not warning you sooner but a portion of Leif Erikson, the main road for bicycling in Forest Park, is closed through the end of this week.

The closure is due to a City of Portland project to replace several culverts between mileposts 8.0 and 9.0. Since the road is completely closed, bicycle riders must detour around it. Portland Parks & Recreation is recommending two different detour routes. The shorter detour (1.9 miles) includes a very steep uphill/downhill where Parks recommends walking your bike for 1.2 miles. The other detour is five miles long and puts you on Highway 30.

Here are the maps (provided by PP&R):[Read more…]

Guest Article: Riding against the machine – UPDATED

by on April 7th, 2015 at 11:46 am


A manifesto of sorts, by The Ümabomber.

Publisher’s note: This article was written by The Ümabomber and was originally published on her blog.

I’ve been a cyclist for over 25 years and a dedicated mountain biker for the past 8 years. I have ridden trails all over the Western US. And I have never poached a trail that was closed to riding. Ever. Until today.
[Read more…]

‘Free Forest Park Ride’ aims to keep heat on trail access issue

by on April 6th, 2015 at 10:55 am


A group of frustrated and fed-up mountain biking advocates hope to keep the pressure on local decision-makers by staging a mass ride in Forest Park tonight.
[Read more…]

MTB advocates will deliver petition, request planning funds at Parks budget hearing

by on January 6th, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Ventura Park Pump Track grand opening-19

Portland kids deserve more places to ride off-road.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Almost one year after Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz quietly destroyed hopes of new singletrack bicycling opportunities in Forest Park (at least in the short-term), off-road advocates plan to deliver a strong message to her at an upcoming budget hearing.

Their request? Find the money to fund a citywide mountain bike master plan that would address Forest Park trails and other cycling opportunities like family-friendly pump tracks in local parks.
[Read more…]

After years of disappointment, single track lovers have reasons for optimism

by on November 21st, 2014 at 12:21 pm

Newton Rd in Forest Park

With renewed energy from Portland’s off-road biking advocates and a Metro project that could open up 1,300 acress of trail possibilities, 2015 could be a very big year for advocates itching for more local single track trails.

As we reported yesterday, local advocacy and trail building group the Northwest Trail Alliance has thrown down a gauntlet of sorts by launching an online petition in the form of an open letter to members of Portland City Council. The petition urges them to “catch up with the overflowing demand for off-road cycling opportunities.” By the time this story is published there will likely be close to 1,000 signatures collected in its first two days.

[Read more…]

Bomb squad disarms tripwire device found on trail near Forest Park – UDPATED

by on October 20th, 2014 at 11:15 am

Newton Rd in Forest Park

(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Police called in the bomb squad Saturday night to disarm an explosive device connected to a tripwire strung across a trail that leads into Forest Park.

According to a statement released this morning by the PPB, the tripwire was strung across Firelane 3, a wooded and overgrown old fire access road located east of NW Thompson Rd and accessible via Skyline Road from Thunder Crest Drive. Firelane 3 is open to bicycling and walking.

Here’s more from the PPB:[Read more…]

Holman Lane makes key connection through Forest Park, but only in one direction

by on December 18th, 2013 at 2:33 pm

Holman Lane (red line) in relation to northwest Portland (to the right), Forest Park (shaded green), NW Cornell Rd (at the bottom) and Skyline Blvd (bottom left).
(Graphic: RideWithGPS)

Holman Lane is an unpaved fire lane in Forest Park. It winds uphill from northwest Portland almost a mile and nearly 500 feet in elevation from the corner of NW Aspen and Raleigh (map) before it meets with the quiet and tree-lined NW 53rd Avenue. Holman is open for cycling, and for those who know about it, provides a beautiful and safe connection between downtown and the West Hills, Skyline Boulevard, and points beyond.

But there’s an important detail about Holman Lane: bicycling is permitted only in the uphill direction. That’s too bad for people like Mike Owen, a Portlander who recently discovered Holman’s charms and utility.
[Read more…]