St Helens and Scappoose

Scappoose, Oregon

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This ride can hardly be considered “in town,” but it offers plenty of reasons to venture north of Forest Park on a bicycle, and it’s not very far north of Sauvie Island. It links the old river towns of St. Helens and Scappoose on two loops, each with its own character. The St. Helens loop tours the old town center and riverfront before climbing to timberlands for views across the Columbia. The Scappoose loop is a flat lap through a low, lonely landscape of farms and gravel mines. Both loops are great, and both make good stand-alone rides. But if you’re coming all the way from Portland, you might as well enjoy the whole thing. Begin in St. Helens at McCormick Park, named for the Michigan lumber family that once employed much of the town. Pick up Old Portland Road and follow it north into the old town center, where the imposing Columbia County Courthouse fronts a small plaza. Vacant storefronts and a derelict waterfront mill bear witness to effects of Oregon’s shrinking timber industry.
Biking Portland

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Biking Portland

by Owen Wozniak (The Mountaineers Books)

This ride can hardly be considered “in town,” but it offers plenty of reasons to venture north of Forest Park on a bicycle, and it’s not very far north of Sauvie Island. It links the old river towns of St. Helens and Scappoose on two loops, each with its own character. The St. Helens loop tours the old town center and riverfront before climbing to timberlands for views across the Columbia. The Scappoose loop is a flat lap through a low, lonely landscape of farms and gravel mines. Both loops are great, and both make good stand-alone rides.

But if you’re coming all the way from Portland, you might as well enjoy the whole thing. Begin in St. Helens at McCormick Park, named for the Michigan lumber family that once employed much of the town. Pick up Old Portland Road and follow it north into the old town center, where the imposing Columbia County Courthouse fronts a small plaza. Vacant storefronts and a derelict waterfront mill bear witness to effects of Oregon’s shrinking timber industry.

© 2012 Owen Wozniak /The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Road Biking, Walking
Nearby City: Scappoose
Distance: 35
Elevation Gain: 1,100 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Riding Time: 3-4 hours
Season: Year-round
Accessibility: Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Driving Directions: Directions to St. Helens and Scappoose

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Apr 2018