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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

Draft Recommendations: Natural Surface Off-road Cycling Trails

Natural surface off-road cycling trails are typically made of dirt. They are generally used by both people riding bicycles and walkers. 

Since ‘experiencing nature’ is a key goal of many natural surface trail users, trails are typically located in forested or other natural areas of parks. However, many of Portland’s parks and natural areas face challenges like invasive species and erosion, which harm habitat for fish and wildlife and can detract from the experience of bicycling or walking on a trail.  To address this, the Draft Plan recommends complementary natural area restoration and enhancements for each location listed below.

Existing locations

Powell Butte Nature Park, Mount Tabor Park and Forest Park currently have natural off-road cycling trails. The Draft Off-road Cycling Master Plan recommends improving some of  these trails for safety and sustainability. The Plan also recommends improvements and expansions of Forest Park’s trail system  to allow more trail riding, see pages 61-72 of the Discussion Draft. 

Recommended future locations

The Draft Plan recommends adding sustainable natural surface off-road cycling trails to the following parks and natural areas to provide more opportunities for Portlanders across the city. These trails could be open for walking as well. 

These locations were chosen because they offer opportunities for riders to experience nature, could provide beginner to intermediate level trails, and are either located in degraded areas or could improve existing unsustainable conditions. Recommended trails would be designed and constructed according to best practices for user safety and environmental sustainability.


Natural areas offer a variety of trail experiences for people of all ages and abilities.