Vistas, Parks & Neighborhoods of North Portland

Vistas, Parks & Neighborhoods of North Portland

City Tour, 11 miles

Overview

The city of Portland can be divided into five main quadrants; Southwest and Northwest, North, Northeast, Southeast Portland. A disappointing percent of the people who visit Portland for the first time never manage to escape from the city's central business district which encompasses Southwest and Northwest Portland. While the central city adorns with its Rose Gardens, vibrant Pearl District, and pleasant Waterfront Parks, another side of Portland awaits just over the river on the city's east side.

The inner east side of Portland is what cements this city's reputation as the crowned jewel of bikeable American cities. An entire network of bike routes and bicycle boulevards connect the mellow east side neighborhoods and commercial avenues.

This route is designed to give you a taste of Inner North Portland; one of three quadrants on Portland's east side. Along this route, you pass many vibrant commercial districts (Williams Ave, Mississippi Ave) city parks (Overlook Park, Peninsula Park) vistas (the Skidmore Bluffs) and historic residential neighborhoods (Overlook, King, Sabin). This route is designed as a mellow neighborhood ride with plenty of opportunities to stop for a bite to eat, a coffee, a microbrew, or a relaxing picnic in a city park.

Logistics

 Click image to download PDF of route map.

Click image to download PDF of route map.

Maps

Bikes

  • Clever Cycles - $30+ daily for Brompton folding bikes and family cargo bikes includes a lock, helmet and map
  • Cycle Portland - $15+ daily for hybrid, road and single speed bikes.  Helmets, locks and panniers are included.
  • Everybody's Bike Rentals - $25+ daily for commuter, road or touring bikes. All prices include lights, lock, helmet and bike map. Rain gear and panniers extra.
  • Pedal Bike - $35+ daily for Jamis Commuter, road, tandem or kids bikes and trailers and trail-a-bikes.  Helmets and locks included.

Train Stations

System Map - bikes allowed on MAX lines most times of the day

  • Start /End of the ride - MAX Red/Blue line, Skidmore Fountain
  • During - MAX Yellow line runs parallel to Concord neighborhood greenway

What to Bring?

Picnic blanket, binoculars, money for food & beer, layers of clothing, rain cape or jacket, pannier or basket for shopping

Route Highlights:

A. Steel Bridge

Departing from Tom McCall Waterfront park, you will head North and pass across the lower deck of the Steel Bridge and then veer left up with switchback ramp. From the top of the ramp, you can get the best view of the Steel Bridge and the cityscape below. Today, the Steel Bridge is Portland's second-oldest bridge (built in 1912) and is the only bridge with double-deck independent lifts in the world.

B. Williams Avenue

Welcome to Portland's fastest growing commercial district along the most used bike routes in the city. In fact, so much bike traffic funnels through this commercial district, that businesses such as the Hopworks Urban Brewer BikeBar cater specifically to the thirsty cyclists passing by.

C. Peninsula Park

Although slightly smaller than the International Rose Test Gardens on Portland's west side, Peninsula Park is home to Portland's oldest public rose garden.

D. North Killingsworth Street

While not a key commercial district like Williams or Mississippi, the bike route passes a few culinary and libratory gems on this section of Killingsworth Street, including the Hop and Vine, the Lucky Labrador, and Saraveza.

E. Skidmore Bluffs

This used to be Portland's best kept secret, but although the word is out, its still the best place to relax and catch a sunset in North Portland. Overlooking the Albina train yards below, and peering out at the cityscape and Forest Park across the river, this semi-official city park does not disappoint.

F. Historic Overlook House  3839 North Melrose Drive | www.historicoverlookhouse.org | (503) 208-7312

This handsome brick and stucco house boasts a backyard garden that is open to the public and a view that is on par with the Skidmore Bluffs. Built in 1927, the Overlook House is now a neighborhood community center.

G. Mississippi Avenue

The bike route passes across Mississippi Avenue, but there's plenty to stop and check out on this vibrant commercial avenue, including; Por Que No Taqueria, UCHU Sushi, Mississippi Studios, various thrift stores, and food carts in every direction.  Note: if you want to make Mississippi Avenue your final destination, you and your bike can easily catch the MAX Orange Line back to the city center, Just travel south on Mississippi Avenue until it runs in to Interstate Avenue.

H. Vancouver Avenue

Vancouver Avenue runs parallel to Williams Avenue, providing the opportunity to revisit any of the breweries, restaurants, or ice cream shops you may have missed at the beginning of the ride. 

I. Broadway Bridge 

Returning to the westside of Portland via the Broadway Bridge provides spectacular views of the city looking North. From the top of the bridge you can see the heart of industrial Portland to the North along the east bank of the river. To the west you can see Forest Park and the Nob Hill neighborhood of Northwest Portland.