Portland is known for many things – coffee, food carts, putting birds on random things. But perhaps most iconic of all is the bicycle. We are passionate about our biking in this town. And we expect our kids to be too. Luckily there are lots of great rides out there to get your kids excited to pull out their bikes and get peddling. Here, the Community Cycling Center’s Bike Camp Manager, Jake Schorr, provides a few family-friendly bike rides through North Portland for your summer riding pleasure. ~Ali Wilkinson, Online Editor
- Marine Drive 33rd Ave and the 205 Pathway. This mixed-use path feels far from the city because of its isolation from cars and its views of open fields, Mount Hood, and the Columbia river. It also has plenty of sandy beaches along the way where you can stop for a dip. And for any aviation enthusiasts out there, it has good vantage points to watch the airplanes and occasional fighter jets take off from the airport. If riding to the path, access it from the 205 bike path or NE 33rd Ave (watch out for the overpass crossing Columbia on 33rd Ave- it involves a tricky lane change). If driving, you can park at the James Gleason Boat Ramp.
Distance: 4.2 miles one way from NE 33rd to the 205 Path
Difficulty: Easy. It’s flat, isolated from cars, and less crowded than the paths along the Willamette, making it great for riders of all ages and skill levels.
Age level: Any
- Water Feature Tour of Northeast and North Portland. This is a great ride for hot summer days; you won’t have to ride more than 2 miles without getting wet. Test the waters in each of these park’s water features and see which one is your favorite! Start at Woodlawn park and head west on Bryant St. taking Brothwick Ave south to Peninsula park. From Peninsula park, take the Rosa Parks bike lane west and then the Denver Ave. bike lane North. A Left on Kilpatrick will bring you to Kenton Park. From there, take Delaware Ave south and then Farragut St. west. Continue onto Baldwin and then run into Columbia Park. To extend or complement this ride, check out the water features at Grant, Irving, Dawson, and Farragut Park.
Distance: 4.5 miles one way
Difficulty: Easy. This ride is flat but does involve riding in bike lanes on some higher traffic streets (Rosa Parks and Denver).
Age level: 8+
- Smith and Bybee Lakes and Kelly Point Park. Hop on the freshly repaved Columbia Slough Trail from N. Interstate Ave (or from the Max Train Yellow Line station at Delta Park) and take the trail west. If you time it right, you can stop along the Slough Trail and watch the cars practicing at Portland International Raceway. When you reach Portland Road, take a right and then turn left towards Smith and Bybee at the first crosswalk. Following the paved path, the lakes will be on your left. Stop off for a short hike and some bird watching on the Interlakes trail or continue along the Marine Drive Path. At Kelly Point park you can stroll through cotton wood trees, play on sandy beaches, and check out the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.
Distance: 7.1 miles one way from N. Interstate.
Difficultly: Moderate. Flat but has a fair number of stop signs at industrial driveways along Marine Dr.
Age level: 11+
Thanks to Community Cycling Center for these kid-friendly routes through North Portland! For more bike adventures, consider signing up your child for a week of Bike Camp through the Community Cycling Center. They offer summer camps at their NE Alberta headquarters and in SE Portland at Sellwood Cycle Repair. Bike Camp brings kids in grades 1-8 together for a summer of bike adventures, learning, and friendship. Campers learn how to ride safely and maintain their bikes in a supportive, hands-on environment.
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