Forest Park Guide: The Best Bikes

Pedal your way through Portland’s Forest Park

Edited by Brian Barker June 29, 2011 Published in the July 2011 issue of Portland Monthly

Image: Michael Byers

Download a printable version of a map of Forest Park and a guide to all the hikes, runs, and bikes.

Moderate/see map Q5/bike #6
The one legal patch of singletrack in Forest Park is found deep in the park’s ferny central interior. At just a third of a mile, it’s a short ride. But it packs a wallop. From Saltzman Road, Firelane 5 careens down a wide pathway, funneling riders to a lively jumble of rock- and root-laden curves. Check your speed on the final switchback, which requires a vertigo-inducing hairpin turn before plummeting to Leif Erikson. Bonus: this summer, the city is scoping out plans to narrow the upper portion of Firelane 5, lengthening singletrack cruises.

SUGGESTED ROUTE: From NW Germantown Road, head south on Leif Erikson and turn right up Saltzman Road. At the top of Saltzman descend Firelane 5 back to Leif Erikson. (Round trip: 10 miles)


Cruise control: riders explore Leif Erikson near NW Germantown Road.

Moderate/see map G7/bike #7
Ferns and firs morph into a green whir on Firelane 3’s near mile-long roller-coaster descent from Skyline Boulevard to Leif Erikson. The hair-raising plunge at the half-mile mark is worth the ride alone. And like Firelane 5, this trail is being considered for enhanced singletrack work this summer.

SUGGESTED ROUTE: From Leif Erikson’s Thurman Street entrance, pedal to Saltzman Road and turn left. At Skyline Blvd turn left. Look for the top of Firelane 3 in the Thunder Crest neighborhood on the left, just past Skyline Memorial Gardens. Return via Leif Erikson. (Round trip: approximately 10 miles)

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