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The region’s growing network of bike and walking trails run along rivers, go past parks and neighborhoods, and weave through wetlands and forests. Here are five trails that the whole family can enjoy. All of these five popular trails are paved and accommodate people with various physical abilities.
Marine Drive Trail
Parallel to the Columbia River, the path stretches from Kelley Point Park in North Portland to Troutdale.
To avoid some gaps and the Interstate 5 interchange, pick up the trail at M. James Gleason Memorial Boat Ramp and head east. Along the way, go for a swim at Broughton Beach; soak in views of Mount Hood; enjoy a picnic, swim or disc golf at Blue Lake Regional Park; or view wildlife at Chinook Landing Marine Park.
There are two segments that run along the shoulder of Marine Drive: between Interstate 205 and Northeast 122nd Avenue, and Northeast 185th Drive and Northeast Interlachen Lane.
Rock Creek Trail
The trail parallels Rock Creek and follows a scenic greenway from Hillsboro to Bethany.
Orenco Woods Nature Park is a good starting point and offers a nature play area, trails and more. From there, turn left onto Northeast Cornelius Pass Road, then right onto Northwest Wilkins Street. The trail resumes about a quarter-mile down. Take it to Rock Creek Park and travel along Northwest Rock Creek Boulevard before picking up the trail again at the Rock Creek Powerline Soccer Fields. It passes through forests, wetlands, meadows and parks before ending at Kaiser Woods Natural Area.
Steel Bridge-Tilikum Crossing Loop
Take in the cityscape as you travel along the east and west banks of the Willamette River.
Begin at the Salmon Springs Fountain in Tom McCall Waterfront Park and head north on the Waterfront Park path. Pass under the Morrison and Burnside bridges, then follow the path onto the Steel Bridge to cross the river. Head south along the Eastbank Esplanade and pass under the Burnside, Morrison and Hawthorne bridges. Continue past OMSI then cross Tilikum Crossing, the country’s first car-free pedestrian and transit bridge.
Turn right onto the Southwest Moody Avenue cycle track and pick up the waterfront trail again from Southwest River Parkway.
When the Springwater Trail re-opens near Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, visitors can continue south along the east side of the river, cross the Sellwood Bridge and return on the Willamette River Greenway Trail.
The trail follows a former streetcar corridor from Milwaukie south to Gladstone and connects to the Orange Line MAX station at Park Avenue.
Milwaukie Riverfront Park is a great starting point, but the trail also extends one mile north along Southeast 17th Avenue to connect with the Springwater Corridor in Sellwood.
Along its length, trees and grass buffer you from streets. Stringfield Park makes a great stop with its playground, picnic area and restrooms. The trail ends at East Jersey Street and Portland Avenue in Gladstone, but you can continue down to the Clackamas River and cross the bridge into Oregon City.
Fanno Creek Trail
Beginning in Garden Home, the trail travels through Beaverton and Tigard.
You can start at the Garden Home Recreation Center and follow the trail west toward Highway 217. To avoid walking across the highway overpass, start instead at Fanno Creek Park. Follow the trail and keep an eye out for wildlife, including native Pacific tree frogs, beavers and red-tailed hawks.
From Woodard Park, take a left on Southwest Johnson Street and another left on Southwest Grant Avenue to continue on the trail. The Tigard Public Library is a good end point.
For more trails, check out Metro’s interactive Bike There! map at oregonmetro.gov/bikethere