Portland itself is not exactly a mountain biking mecca, however, the Rose City is somehow bike savvy. A good example to underline this is the Bridge Pedal event with all bridges closed down for motorized traffic. And I have to admit that I am somewhat biased, as I still feel at home in Portland.
Portland has the largest park in the US within the city limits, however, mountain biking is not allowed in Forest Park with the exception of some fire roads. However, there are great mountain biking spots within an one hour driving range.
There are magnificent trails in the Cascade Range around Hood River and Mt. Hood and in the west in the Coast Range but as well northbound e.g. in the Mt. Saint Helens area.
The Sandy Ridge Trail System is located in the foothills of Mt. Hood just a few miles east of Sandy. The trails are purpose built and offer lots of fun with countless berms and jumps. The uphill is an easy spinning workout on a paved road. After an elevation gain of about 500 meters there are various trail options with different skill levels, but all with great flow and fun.
The “Follow the Leader” trail is rated double diamond and has quite some challenges and rough rocky sections in the first half. The second half has more flow and several bumps that are good for some airtime.
Hood River is about an hour drive through the Columbia River Gorge away from downtown Portland and is known as one of the best windsurfing/kitesurfing spots in the world. Yet, it is as well an outstanding mountain biking spot. The Post Canyon trail system is just a few minutes from the town centre and features as well some Northshore elements. Post Canyon can be ridden throughout the year, however, in the wet winter season the clay surface on the trails gets really slippery and steep hills become quite challenging.
Hwy 35 takes you from Hood River in direction Mt. Hood and to many more great trails like Surveyors Ridge, Dog River Trail, Knebal Springs, Eightmile Creek, East Fork, Gunsight Ridge. My favourite ride is the combination of Surveyors Ridge and the Dog River Trail, a roaring downhill that spits you out on Hwy 35.
The Coast Range west of Portland offers great trail riding options about 45 minutes out of town. Most trails start at the parking lot Brown’s Camp/Roger’s Camp. The University Falls loop is probably the trail that I have ridden most often during my Portland tenure. This ride starts and ends with a really steep climb, perhaps to allow flow and fun inbetween…