Northwest Leif Erikson Drive

Forest Park, Oregon

Distance10.2mi
Elevation Gain4,259ft
Trailhead Elevation339ft
Top734ft
Elevation Min/Max339/734ft
Elevation Start/End339/339ft

Northwest Leif Erikson Drive

Northwest Leif Erikson Drive is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Portland, Oregon. It is within Forest Park. It is 10.2 miles long and begins at 339 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 20.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 4,259 feet. Near the trailhead there are drinking water and parking. The Forest Park (elevation 719 feet) wood can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Maple Trail, Nature Trail, Water Line Trail, Chestnut Trail, Koenig Trail, Wild Cherry Trail, Hardesty Trail, Northwest Firelane 5 Road, Northwest Saltzman Road, Dogwood Trail, Cleater Trail, Northwest Firelane 3 Road, Gasline Trail, Northwest Springville Road, Northwest Firelane 2 Road, Ridge Trail, Northwest Firelane 1 Road, Wiregate Trail, Alder Trail, Firelane 4 and Quarry Trail.

Northwest Leif Erikson Drive Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Bike Rides Portland, Oregon (Falcon Guides)
Ayleen Crotty and Lizann Dunegan
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"This route takes you on a 16.0-mile out-and-back section of Leif Erikson Drive, a gravel multiuse trail that journeys through Portland’s famous 5,000-acre Forest Park. You will pedal within a landscape of shady big-lea f maple and alder trees carpeted with sword fern, Oregon grape, and red elderberry. Along the way there are viewpoints from which you can see the Columbia River and downtown Portland. There aren’t many city parks where you can pedal through a 5,000-acre forest that is home to more than sixty-t wo species of mammals and 112 species of birds. But, as one of the largest city parks in the world, Portland’s Forest Park is one such place. Thanks should go to those who lived in Portland at the turn of the century, and who had the foresight to secure what is today a wonderful park system enjoyed by mountain bikers, runners, and hikers alike." Read more
Best Outdoor Adventures Near Portland, Oregon (Falcon Guides)
Adam Sawyer
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"When it was constructed, Leif Erikson Drive was supposed to be the main artery that would connect Northwest Portland to a yet-to-be-constructed development of stately homes along the Tualatin Mountains. The combination of a massive landslide and a slumping economy prevented any further development. Investors defaulted, and the land fell back into the city’s lap. That entire stretch of land is now Forest Park. And the road that was supposed to lead to high- end real estate now carves an easy path that winds its way from Northwest Portland to Germantown Road in the heart of the park." Read more

Northwest Leif Erikson Drive Reviews

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8/8/2018
I love this trail and retreat here often because it is so close to Portland. A lovely escape with lush green trees and beautiful scenery all around. While it is peaceful and relaxing, a lot of the rest of Portland comes here, as well, so I always expect to see cyclists and trail runners besides us walkers. There are various trail networks to choose from.
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7/4/2018
Beautiful ride through the forest on mostly gravel roads. A couple of steep (short) sections. Overall nice ride close to the city.
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7/29/2012
A pretty scenic and fast beginner trail. Overall the climbs and descents are very gradual. This trail is made fun by cranking up your speed and givin'er in the corners! Just watch out for other trail users in the first and last 2 miles.
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2/8/2010
This is a great trail. It's nice because of its proximity to downtown Portland. There were many people hiking and jogging and just generally getting exercise. My trainer, Nick, (with Portland Personal Training and Weight Loss) had organized a group outing to get several of us out to do something active that wasn't in a gym. All in all it was a great trip, and I would do it again. http://www.portlandpersonaltraining.com/
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3/28/2008
Perhaps a good "beginner" trail, for anyone else it's a pretty boring flat Out-and-Back that's very popular with runners, dog walkers etc. Best used as access/return from some of the firelane trails.
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2/2/2008
I started the Leif Erikson fromt the NW 23rd area of Portland. It was snowing that day and yet several people were still out. Parking was hard to find, people were parking a half mile down the road. The start of my run started on a slush covered gravel road. Running was kind of slow, but the view was incredible. The forest is so green here. Heavy slush/snow was covering everything. Approx 0.8 miles up the road I turned onto Dogwood trail and then approx .75 miles up the road turned onto Wildwood. Unbelievable! Snow everywhere. Lot's of fun. I even saw 60ft tree fall about 40 feet from where I was. One of those once in a life time runs. Felt very surreal. Almost like something from JRR Tolkien or CS Lewis. The only reason it didn't get five stars from me was the slip factor! Have fun.
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6/5/2007
Awesome run. Narrow smooth trails through beautiful trees.
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6/29/2000
This trail is not really mountain biking the most tecniqual part of the trip is riding on the gravel. The trail is an old logging railroad. So it has a long shallow inclines. Half of the trip is on pavement.
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Northwest Leif Erikson Drive Photos

Trail Information

Forest Park
Nearby City
Forest Park
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Oregon Road & Recreation Atlas: Page 106 D4
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018