At 5,172 acres, Forest Park is the largest forested natural area within city limits in the U.S. Connected to the Pacific Coast Range, the park stretches for nearly eight miles along the northeast slope of the Tualatin Mountains and is home to multiple species of animals, birds, trees and plants. Over 70 miles of trails and lanes traverse the park, providing opportunities for hiking, trail running, off-road cycling, wildlife watching, and other nature-based activities. Approximately 28 miles of trails, service roads and fire lanes are open to off-road cycling. Nearly all are wide trails or service roads.
The Forest Park Natural Area Management Plan guides land management decisions within the park, and balances goals within three management units: South, Central and North. The plan also includes unique trail design guidelines that supersede the citywide trail design guidelines, and bases recreation improvements on the carrying capacity of the park. The City and its partners have developed a variety of surveys, reports and initiatives to support the management and enhancement of the park. For example, the City has established Desired Future Conditions for the park and uses Ecological Prescriptions as well as the Forest Park Project Objective Screening Tool to guide and select proposed park management activities and improvements.
In 2010, the City considered ways to improve and expand singletrack cycling opportunities in Forest Park, which were documented in the Forest Park Single Track Advisory Committee Report and Cycling Actions.
The Forest Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that advocates for and assists with stewardship of the park, works closely with the Portland Parks & Recreation to monitor trail conditions and organize volunteer restoration efforts.