Forest Park / Leif Erikson Drive

OutAndBack • 22.4 mi • 0 ft

Leif Erikson Drive is a wide, well-maintained, gravel thoroughfare; it winds through the middle of Forest Park for 11.2 miles. From the eastern end of the park at Thurman Road, Leif Erikson Drive climbs gently for five miles to Saltzman Road. Then it drops gently for five miles to its western terminus at Germantown Road. The steep hills that border the road are covered with mossy trees and lush ferns. On a clear day the Columbia River, Mt. Hood, and Mt. St. Helens can be spied in the distance. Forest Park is in northwest Portland.
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Activity Type: Mountain Biking
Nearby City: Portland
Length: 22.4 total miles
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Aerobically and Technically easy
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 300 feet
Top Elevation: 675 feet
Local Contacts: City of Portland Parks and Recreation 503-823-2223
Local Maps: "A Cyclist's Guide to the Trails of Forest Park" at area bike shops, USGS Portland and Linnton
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Recent Trail Reviews


The trails mentioned on this web page are extremely easy and pretty dull unless you are an absolute beginner. For far more challenging rides explore the North side of Forest Park (across Germantown Road). Here is one short, but moderately challening ride: Park in the Newton Road lot off Skyline Rd. Ride back up the road to Skyline and turn right. Follow skyline to firelane 15 and turn right. 15 is wide open rolling hills for the first 3/4 of a mile and then gets fairly steep for another 1/2 mile until it connects with Firelane 12. Turn right at 12 and follow it uphill for about 1/2 a mile. The beginning of this climb will get you breathing. Firelane 12 ends at BPA Road. Turn left onto BPA and follow it to the bottom. The first 3/4 of a mile is pure doubletrack that rollercoasters downhill. Check out the view of the Wilammette and Columbia Rivers, Sauvie Island, Mt. St. Helens and Adams on a clear day. After this point the trail narrows out and drops over 1000 feet in the next mile--have fun. Turn right at the bottom and follow Newton Road back up to the parking lot--this is a 2 mile climb with a good bit of technical riding to start. Bottom line: stay away from the South Side of Forest Park if you want to ride--it's flat and crowded with walkers, runners and dogs.


This is a nice ride that's close to the city and easily accessable. There are a good deal of trails for biking leading of of Lief Erikson. Fire Lane one is the first biker trail you come to. This trail is fairly short and steep and often times very muddy after it's rained.

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