If you’ve spent much time in Portland, you know that bicycling is a way of life. Whether you hop on a bright orange BIKETOWN cruiser or take part in a Sunday Parkways ride (May through September) along the city’s cycle-friendly greenways, it’s not hard to find a way to get out in the fresh air on two wheels (or one, like Portland’s famed Unipiper).
One of the region’s most popular spots for bicycle adventuring is the Gateway Green, parts of which first opened in 2017.
With wide-open meadows and views of Rocky Butte through the woods to the west, there’s a lot to celebrate about the 25-acre site in East Portland. You’ll find 1.7 miles of single-track off-road cycling trails at the park, in addition to a concrete all-weather pump-track and a bike skills area with dirt jumps.
Whether you’re a newbie, a kid or a seasoned cyclist, there’s something to practice on the berms, drops and jumps. Even if you don’t feel comfortable riding on trails, Gateway Green is an ideal place to learn.
With trails for all skill levels, it’s the perfect place to progress, with opportunities to work up to the more challenging parts of the trail and skills area. While it’s designed for bicyclists, its mix of paved and unpaved trails also are open to hikers. Dogs are required to be on a leash at all times in the park.
More Improvements to Come
Visitors should keep in mind, though, that construction for TriMet’s MAX Red Line expansion has closed the south end of Gateway Green through late 2024. The trails can be accessed via the east hub entry near the pump track, and the Linda’s Line and Rebar Ridge trails are partially closed.
What’s exciting about the TriMet construction is that it will mean improvements to the Gateway Green. Visitors will have better access to the park, with a new south entrance that connects directly to the Gateway Transit Center. Other upgrades include a longer spine road and more than 80 new trees. The bike trails, too, will include more vertical drops and new gravity lines. Once fully reopened, the park will feature picnic tables, a children’s nature play area and viewpoints for wildlife spotting.
Pitch in at a Work Party
If you enjoy the park and want to take part in seeing it thrive, you can volunteer. Friends of Gateway Green hosts monthly stewardship work parties from 10 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of each month. During the events, volunteers focus on cleanup, invasive-species control and planting. Dress for the weather, though gloves and tools will be provided. Interested volunteers can fill out this form.
“We want to encourage more people to get outside and see what the city has to offer,” says Erin Chipps, communications director for the Northwest Trail Alliance. “We’re kind of creating the new stewards of the environment.”
Try These Urban Mountain-Bike Hot Spots
Here are some other places to get your adrenaline pumping on a mountain bike within an hour Portland:
Easy Climb Trail in Cascade Locks, 2.7 miles of flowy singletrack with mild climbing and sections of rocks, roots and switchbacks, as well as views of the Columbia River.
Powell Butte Nature Park in East Portland, 5 miles of beginner-friendly, smooth trails and quick descents that are shared with hikers, dog-walkers and horses.
The Sandy Ridge Trail System in Sandy, 17 miles of trails at the lower slopes of Mt. Hood, ranging from beginner-level trails to double-black-diamond, expert-level challenges.
Trails at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park in Buxton, near Vernonia, 6 miles of bike trails, ranging from easy to challenging, with restoration work underway to expand trails.