Your kiddos are feeling cooped up and strolling around the neighborhood just isn’t cutting it. It’s time to get out of the house and hit the biking trails. Check out these spots that are perfect for family bike rides.MoreLess
This is the city’s signature bike ride, looping around the Willamette with bridges, skyscrapers, fountains, and a floating bike path. There are plenty of bridges to choose from when you’re ready to cross like the Steel Bridge, Hawthorne, or Tilikum Bridge (which doesn’t allow cars). There are lots of options for breaks, with two fountains on the downtown side, and on the other side you’ll find OMSI or the floating bike path that's perfect for dipping hot feet into the river come summer!
This forested path west of Portland is Oregon’s first rails-to-trails, running from the towns of Banks to Vernonia. Once a set of train tracks to haul lumber, it’s now a beautiful flat path through bird songs and ferns, and over 13 trestle bridges. Six different trailheads allow access along the way, including LL Stub Stewart State Park. The small town of Vernonia prides itself on being very bike-friendly.
This trail winds along Johnson Creek, jumping back and forth along at least 10 bridges on it’s way out to Gresham. You can start either downtown at the Willamette River, or jump on the trail from several parks and other access points like Beggars-Tick Wildlife Refuge, Leach Botanical Gardens, Powell Butte Park, and Gresham’s Main City Park. The wide paved path is easy to follow and nice and flat for all levels of riders.
An urban interpretation of a rails to trails, this 6 mile path follows an old streetcar route from Milwaukie to Gladstone. The path has roots way back in 1893! Today it winds through neighborhoods and parks. Start at Riverfront Park in Milwaukie and follow the paved path as far you’d like. Several parks along the way make great stopping points, and the trail ends in Gladstone, or can be easily extended to Oregon City.
Winding through Greenway Park near Washington Square in Beaverton, Fanno Creek Trail is really great for anyone just starting out. It’s a short trail at 1.8 miles one way, making it perfect for a quick out and back ride. The paved path is flat and mainly in parks and along the creek, with plenty of trees and occasional shade. The trail continues through several communities if you’re willing to connect the paths, but for a beginner jaunt, just stick with the park section.
Take this path when you need to bribe the kids with ice cream! Not that you’d ever need to do that, of course. The 4 miles of paved path winds through Champoeg State Heritage Area, where early settlers to Oregon held their provisional government. You’ll ride through wildflower meadows, riverbanks, and forests on a path that never feels too busy. Off-path, you can dig into history at old farmsteads and interpretive centers.
Another rails-to-trails path, this one adds some extra interest with some of Oregon’s oldest covered bridges! Starting in Cottage Grove just outside Eugene, the trail heads east for about 16 miles, ending just past Dorena Lake. You’ll ride through three covered bridges and about four others that span the Row River and smaller creeks. For a short fun ride, start at the Mosby Creek trailhead and covered bridge and ride 1.5 miles to Currin Bridge, also covered.