Posts Tagged ‘trail’

Family Mountain Biking

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What’s to Love:  Before I get started with my usual format, I want to apologize for the lack of photographs.  It was raining pretty hard for our entire ride, and the camera batteries died right when we were getting started. Hopefully, I’ll get some additional photos soon! Despite that, the “EasyClimb Trail” in Cascade Locks is the perfect outing for parents who want to mountain bike with their kids. The two mile loop features a little bit of everything, EXCEPT hill climbs! There is ample parking, no fees, and plenty of signage – it’s almost impossible to get lost. I’m convinced this is the #1 option for mountain biking with young kids…period. If you think there is a better option, I’d love to hear about it. Get your kids the best shoes to run and ride. Check out this review at RunnerClick.com.

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Sandy Ridge Trail System

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Sandy Ridge Trail SystemWhat’s to Love:  Feel like riding some sweet trails with the family? The Sandy Ridge Trail System offers approximately 15 miles of prime mountain biking in a beautiful setting. The entire trail system is relatively new, and while hiking is allowed, the trails were designed primarily for mountain biking. Most of the trails fall under the “intermediate” or “advanced” category, but I can recommend two options for beginning-level riders.

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Hardesty Trail Loop Hike

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Hardesty Trail Forest ParkWhat’s to Love:  Although it’s our rainy season here in Portland, I encourage all of my readers to get out with your kids for a family hike. The winter is actually a great time for hiking, but you’ll need to be prepared for slippery conditions, lots of mud, rain, and wind. Forest Park offers many options, but I think you’ll find this little gem one of the better options for kids. Also, check out this review of hiking backpacks from thegearhunt.com.

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Old Salmon River Trail

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Old Salmon River TrailWhat’s to Love:  We had heard good things about this hike from a close friend.  Those sentiments were corroborated by Bonnie Henderson in her book “Best Hikes with Children in Western and Central Oregon.”  After experiencing the Old Salmon River Trail, I must agree with these two sources – this is the perfect hike with children and a wonderful spot in general.

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Wapato Access Greenway

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Wapato Access GreenwayWhat’s to Love:  Don’t know exactly what it is about Sauvie Island, but every time I go, I feel like I’m on vacation.  I think it has something to due with the fact that when I’m there, I actually feel like I’m getting away from some of the inevitable craziness of living in a big city.  Windy country roads, farms, bike riders, pleasant hikes, beach, etc. – it all feels like a dream some days.  Some of my favorite stops are on the island and the Wapato Access Greenway (State Park system) is a worthy diversion from the more common destinations.

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Canoeing at Browns Ferry Park

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Rent a canoe or kayak at Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe Rentals only 100 yards from the boat launch into the Tualatin River. The river is very mellow and an easy paddle for beginners.

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Visiting The Dalles, OR

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The Dalles, Oregon is located on the east end of the Columbia River Gorge right off highway 84. There are several excellent Museums including Maryhill Museum and the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. There is a 9 mile, paved, bike path along the river from the Discovery Center all the way to the Dalles Dam. Portland Family Adventures recommends staying at Cousins Country Inn and eating at Cousins Restaurant.

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Fanno Creek Trail (Update)

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This Trip Powered by Zipcar – Read More About Car Sharing

Fanno Creek TrailWhat’s to Love: (2012) Since first publishing this article, the major sections of the Fanno Creek Trail have been connected.  You can read more about this here.  Also, take a look at the new trail map here.

After living here for the past 9 years and being an avid city biker, I can honestly say that Portland does deserve its reputation as one of the best biking cities in the country, if not the world. However, the more I start to bike with my 4 year old son, the more I realize that much of the best kid-friendly-biking exists outside the city limits. Sorry Portland, but the network of paved paths within the Tualatin Hills Recreation District rivals anything within Portland proper. Certainly, Vancouver, WA is also providing an impressive array of biking paths for its young bikers and families.

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Kelley Point Park

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Kelley Point Park Green SpaceWhat’s to Love:  Located right at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, Kelley Point is the northernmost park in Portland.  In my opinion, Kelley Point Park is one of the more interesting outdoor destinations in Portland – as far as parks go.  When cruising along the beautifully forested, paved bike paths, you’ll catch glimpses of the beach, river and large green spaces.  This perfectly serene moment will most likely be sabotaged by a giant, cargo ship’s unmistakable hum – a loud, foreboding hum!  The ship’s horn might give a blast, and you will start to see (and smell) all the industrialization – the chemical plants, acres and acres of new cars, massive cranes, loading and unloading stations, etc.  The reality here is that Kelley Point Park is ground-zero for shipping and receiving via the Columbia River.

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Lower Macleay Loop Hike

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Lower Macleay Parking AreaWhat’s to Love:  I have hiked all 30 miles of the Wildwood trail, as well as most of the peripheral trails throughout Forest Park.  Therefore, I feel I’m in a pretty good position to expound on this incredible natural resource.  Whether you’re trail running, pushing a jogging stroller, wandering aimlessly, or hiking with friends, Forest Park has a hiking option that’s just right for your family.  This article focuses on a 2 mile loop-hike starting at Lower Macleay park that is a great option for families with small children.

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