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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1810 SW 5th Ave, Suite 710, Portland, OR 97201

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Needs Assessment

The Needs Assessment Report documents current public participation in off-road cycling, as well as in other trail-based recreational activities. It explores who is riding bicycles off-road and examines the demand for additional off-road cycling trails and facilities. 

Key Findings 


  • Approximately 11 to 12 percent of local residents ride a bike off-road at least once a year, more than many other outdoor sports like tennis, field sports, golf and skateboarding.
  • Walking and hiking are the most popular uses of unpaved trails locally. Approximately 60 to 65 percent of residents walk or hike on local trails.
  • A significant percentage (40 percent) of statewide off-road cycling activity occurs in Multnomah County. Portland is also a major location for competitive off-road cycling events. 


  • People who ride bicycles off-road are similar to those who participate in other trail-based recreational activities. 
  • More women participate than men.
  • Peopl of all ages participate; total adult participation is roughly even between the following age groups: 18-29, 30-39, 30-39, 50 or older. 
  • People of all income groups participate. Approximately one-third of participating households have incomes of $50,000 or less, while 28 percent earn more than $100,000.
  • Trail-based activities, including off-road cycling, tend to have higher participation rates among people who identify as White than the population as a whole.

Demand for addtional opportunities 

  • Creating additional unpaved dirt trails for walking and hiking is the highest non-motorized trail priority both statewide and in the Portland region.
  • Given trends in population growth and participation, overall off-road cycling ridership is expected to grow.
  • Nearly half (47 percent) of residents in the Portland region consider creating additional trails for singletrack bicycling a priority, the highest level of support statewide. However, this is lower than similar ratings for walking/hiking (76 percent), hard surface biking (59 percent), and running/jogging (54 percent).
  • A local community questionnaire indicates a particular interest in beginner and moderately challenging trails.
  • Most off-road cyclists prefer rides that are between 30 minutes and 2 hours in length, or approximately 3 – 11+ miles.
  • Ability to experience nature and well-maintained trails are key desires.