Tales From The Trails:

Off-Road Cycling FAQ

City of Portland Off-Road Cycling Plan Frequently Asked Questions

What is the City of Portland’s Off-Road Cycling Master Plan?

The City of Portland Off-road Cycling Master Plan project will develop a citywide plan for a system of off-road cycling facilities – such as sustainable trail networks, skill parks and pump tracks – for a variety of users, including children, adults and families.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is working on this project in collaboration with Portland Parks & Recreation, Bureau of Environmental Services, Bureau of Transportation, the Portland Water Bureau and other local government and community partners.

What is the Forest Park Conservancy’s role in the process to create a city-wide Off-Road Cycling Master Plan?

FPC Executive Director, Renee Myers, sits on the Advisory Committee charged with helping the City develop its plan, along with representatives from the biking community, environmental and civic groups and community leaders.

Doesn’t the Forest Park Natural Resources Management Plan specifically say that no more mountain biking trails are permitted in Forest Park?

Yes and no. The plan, adopted into law in 1995, stipulates that any new trail or altered use of existing trails must go through an environmental review process. This is true for all new trails, mountain biking and hiking. The plan specifically calls for a few trails to be built in the park but any additional trails must go through an environmental review at the Bureau of Environmental Services that varies depending on whether the proposal is a new trail or a change to the designated use of an existing trail.

I received an email from Friends for Forest Park. Is that the same group as the Forest Park Conservancy?

No. Formerly known as Friends of Forest Park, the Forest Park Conservancy is a 501c3 non profit organization with no affiliation or ties with Friends for Forest Park, a recently created local advocacy group. The Forest Park Conservancy changed its name from Friends of Forest Park nearly 10 years ago and has officially been recognized as the Forest Park Conservancy (or FPC) ever since.

I heard that the City wants to open up the Wildwood Trail to mountain biking. Is that true?

No. The City has determined that the Wildwood and Maple Trails will not be open to off-road cycling. In addition, pedestrian trails in the Southern end of the park will remain pedestrian only due to the heavy use of these trails. FPC supports these decisions.

Where is the City of Portland at with the Off-Road Cycling Master Planning process right now?

At this time, the City has taken a look at all public land managed by the City of Portland, including Portland Parks & Recreation and identified lands that could have some kind of off-road cycling services developed. This includes skills tracks, mountain biking, and other off-road cycling activities. Community meetings and online outreach took place in April, 2017. The City is continuing to evaluate the feedback before making final decisions on which options, if any, to propose to the Portland City Council. For more details, visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/632834

What has the City proposed for consideration?

At this time, the committee and community are being asked to consider possibilities for Forest Park. There are five proposed off-road cycling trails currently under consideration. Click here to learn more about these proposals. It’s important to note that in order for the City to either build a new trail or shift the use of an existing trail, the project would have to go through a rigorous environmental assessment and review to ensure the change would not harm Forest Park’s ecological health or compromise user safety.

Who makes the final decision about where mountain biking trails can go in the City?

Ultimately, City Council will make the final decision.

 



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