Forest Park is a 5100 acre park in NW Portland with around 70 miles of trails and fire roads. Of those 70 only 29 miles are open to bikes, and only a mile of that is singletrack (Firelane 5). Forest Park is a great spot for a non-technical cross country ride or a gravel ride. The fire roads and trails are often wet from November until June, so fenders are your friend.
Open 5am-10pm. The park can be gained from a number of access points including NW Thurman, Germantown Road, Skyline, Road, Highway 30 and Saltzman Road. Parking is free at trailheads, although for many Portlanders it is easier to just ride to the trails.
Up until the 1980’s most trails in the park were open to cyclists. That changed starting in the late 1980’s with the adoption of the Forest Park Natural Resource management plan, which severely restricted bike access . NWTA’s predecessor group, Portland United Mountain Pedalers (PUMP) was formed in part to respond to these proposed new restrictions. Since that time, many efforts have been made to try and expand access to singletrack, with little progress. In 2006 PUMP, in collaboration with Friends of Forest Park and Portland Parks & Recreation, constructed a short section of singletrack on Firelane 5. It remains the only section of singletrack in the park open to cyclists.
In 2020 NWTA signed an agreement with Portland Parks to become the steward of soft-surface cycling trails in Portland Parks including Forest Park. Initially this will just involve the maintenance of these trails. In the future NWTA hopes the City of Portland may consider expanding trail access within the proposed Portland Off-Road Cycling Master Plan, which has been in process for several years.
Mountain bike loop – Start at either the bottom of Saltzman Road on Hwy 30, or drive to the gated access. From there, pedal to the top of Saltzman to the intersection of Firelane 5 (a gravel road at this point), go right and follow FL 5 to the singletrack section of FL 5. This will eventually return to Leif Erickson Road. Go right to return to the mid-Pont of Saltzman Road.
Gravel Loop – Deep Firelanes of Forest Park