Cycle Portland, SIghtseeing & Road Ride, Fort Vancouver to Lacamas Lake

From the last train station of the yellow TriMet MAX line, cross the expansive Columbia River via the I-5 Bridge 80 feet above the river and descend into downtown Vancouver. Then travel east through quiet residential neighborhoods. Loop around picturesque Lacamas Lake before returning to downtown Vancouver. Along the way you’ll enjoy traveling through historic Fort Vancouver along Officers Row.

Terrain

Smooth well-maintained streets, some narrow with no shoulder or bike lane.

Traffic

Low-traffic streets with most intersections having crossing lights.

Access

By car, take I-5 north toward Seattle; take exit 307 for Oregon 99E/Marine Drive toward Delta Park; keep left at the fork, follow signs for M.L.K. Jr Boulevard/ Marine Drive W; turn right onto Marine Drive W. Expo Center is on the left; parking available at the top of N Force Avenue or on-street.

By public transportation, take the TriMet MAX Yellow line north to the Expo MAX station, the last station.

Food and Drink

There are restrooms and drinking fountains at Esther Short Park and at the far end of Lacamas Lake on NW Lake Road at Camas Heritage Park, and restrooms at the trailhead of the Lacamas Heritage Trail. At the corner of N Devine Road and McArthur Boulevard is River Maiden Artisan Coffee, a café where bicyclists are known to gather.

Side Trips

Visit Fort Vancouver, Pearson Air Museum, Vancouver Library, Green Mountain Golf Course, and Esther Short Park.

 

More Details

Starting at the busy intersection of N Marine Drive you’ll access the bike path that will bring you across the Columbia River. On a warm summer day, 80 feet above the river, you’ll have a vista of sailboats, power boats, ships and tankers, but pay attention as the path is narrow. You’ll descend into downtown Vancouver and head east through residential neighborhoods that eventually dissolve to rural farmland.

Crossing into the town of Camas traveling along the ridge above the lake, you can catch glimpses of the lake between the houses on your left. As you come around to the far side of the lake, the road narrows considerably, but there is little traffic to hinder your ride. If you make this trip in late summer, you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of ripe, sweet blackberries growing along the side of the road. Lacamas Lake is popular for fishing and boating. On the day of our ride there were great expanses of water lilies at the far end of the lake ready to bloom.

On the return trip, after turning onto NE 28th Street, the traffic speeds up a bit, but the road is wider here as you travel past the golf course and farms. At 192nd Street you’ll see way-finding signs for Fisher’s Landing and downtown Vancouver, and you’ll pick up a bike lane that is considerably wider. Descend the hill to enter Fort Vancouver through the stockade fence and enjoy the slow pace of riding through the fort apple orchard.

Ride over the land bridge down to the Oldest Apple Tree park, under the railroad bridge, and you will quickly find yourself back in an urban setting. Crossing the Columbia River will be easier traveling south as the pathway is a little wider.

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 From Expo MAX Station, ride up to N Marine Dr; right onto sidewalk.
  • 0.1 Left to cross N Marine Dr; access bike path on opposite side.
  • 0.4 Left at sign for Marine Dr Vancouver; right through tunnel; ride parallel with I-5 to rotary; cross intersection via the pedestrian crossing to stay straight; remain on sidewalk; cross next intersection with pedestrian crossing to take left and access bike path. Left upon crossing, ride parallel to I-5 and cross bridge.
  • 2.1 Right onto Columbia St.
  • 3.1 Right onto McLoughlin Blvd.
  • 5.4 Right onto Brandt Rd.
  • 5.5 Left onto E Mill Plain Blvd.
  • 5.9 Right onto McArthur Blvd.
  • 7.8 Dog leg right onto St. Helens Rd.
  • 8.5 Right onto SE 98th Ave.
  • 8.6 Left onto SE 10th St (becomes SE McGillivray Blvd).
  • 11.9 Right onto SE Village Loop (becomes SE 29th St).
  • 13.0 Right onto SE 176th St.
  • 13.2 Left onto SE 34th St (becomes Pacific Rim Blvd).
  • 15.3 Left onto NW Parker St. 16.8 Right onto NW Lake Rd.
  • 19.3 Left onto NE Everett St.
  • 19.9 Left onto SE Leadbetter Rd, then right into NE 232nd Ave.
  • 22.8 Left onto NE 28th St, then left into NW FribergStrunk St.
  • 25.4 Right onto SE First St.
  • 25.9 Left onto 192nd St.
  • 26.9 Right onto SE 20th St.
  • 28.5 Right onto SE McGillivray Blvd.
  • 31.8 Right onto SE 98th Ave.
  • 31.9 Left onto St. Helens Ave.
  • 32.6 Dog leg right onto McArthur Blvd.
  • 34.5 Left onto E Mill Plain Blvd.
  • 35.0 Right onto Brandt Rd; left onto McLoughlin Blvd.
  • 36.2 Left onto E Reserve St.
  • 36.6 Right onto E Evergreen Blvd.
  • 36.8 Left into Fort Vancouver. Right onto E Fifth St; enter fort via bike pathway to access land bridge.
  • 37.9 Right onto SE Columbia Way.
  • 38.1 Right onto I-5 bike path; cross bridge; follow path to right; follow sign for bike route through tunnel; left at end of tunnel; cross street with pedestrian crossing light.
  • 39.2 Right onto access road sidewalk; cross intersection; access sidewalk on opposite side; follow bike path to left; follow signs to Marine Dr West.
  • 39.7 Right toward Marine Dr West; notice road signs for Expo Center and Marine Dr ahead.
  • 40.3 Right onto opposite sidewalk at N Marine Dr.
  • 40.4 Ride to Expo MAX Station. End ride.
  • Trail map

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    Back

    61.708 km / 38.343 mi

    Total Distance

    397 m / 1,302 ft

    Total Ascent

    397 m / 1,302 ft

    Total Descent

    121 m / 397 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Intermediate (Red)
    Ride Duration: 2-4 hrs
    Fitness Level: High
    Terrain:
    Shared Bike Path - Paved
    Shared Bike Path - Dirt
    On-Road Bike Lane
    On-Road
    Off-Road - Fire Trail
    Off-Road - Rail Trail
    Off-Road - Single Track
    Off-Road - Downhill
    Mobile Coverage: Excellent
    Estimated Distance: 40.4
    Elevation Gain: 1440
    Services:
    Water
    Food
    First Aid
    Toilets
    Bike hire facilities
    Carparking
    Bike servicing
    Accessible by bike
    Accessible by car
    Accessible by public transport
    Accessible by shuttle / uber
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