Cycle Portland, Sightseeing & Kids Friendly Ride, Vancouver Maritime Trail

The rich maritime history of Vancouver is part of the fun of this bike ride. You’ll enjoy views of the Columbia River tucked behind rows of storefronts and condominiums before bike riding to the far end of the trail where the expanse of the river at Marine Park can be seen from the lookout tower and then again at Wintler Community Park from the edge of the shore. You’ll enjoy more of the area’s history bike riding through Fort Vancouver.

Terrain

Smooth, paved streets and bike/pedestrian paths.

Traffic

Paved bike/pedestrian paths on most of this ride. Urban streets have low to moderate traffic with bike lanes.

Access

By car, take I-5 to exit 1B in Vancouver, turn left onto E Sixth Street. On-street parking.

By public transportation, from downtown Portland take Bus #6 to Jantzen Beach Transit Center, transfer to Bus #4 Fourth Plain Eastbound to Broadway and Seventh Street.

Food and Drink

Plenty of options for food and drinks at the starting point of the ride in downtown Vancouver. Restrooms available in Esther Short Park, at the parks along the ride, and at the visitor center of Fort Vancouver.

Side Trip

Pearson Air Field Museum is located along the route.

 

More Details

Begin at Propstra Square in Esther Short Park on the corner of W Sixth Avenue and Columbia Street, and bike ride south toward the I-5 Bridge. After bike riding under the railroad trestle you can pick up the wide bike/pedestrian pathway just before reaching the I-5 Bridge. There will be plenty of cyclists and pedestrians along the path, but be particularly careful of the children who especially like to ride their bikes here.

The bike path splits with the wider section continuing straight. Take the right fork to ride behind the buildings along the river. This path is not used frequently and you may have this section completely to yourself. While the area is secluded, it is only one block from the shops along SE Columbia Way. Leave this pathway and return to SE Columbia Way to continue on your journey to Marine Park.

If you do this bike ride on a weekend you’ll find very little traffic as this is an industrial area which is quiet on non-business days. Marine Park has a popular boat launch and a lookout tower. Returning along SE Columbia Way, you’ll access Fort Vancouver via the land bridge to cross the highway. Doing so will take you back in history to the earliest days of Vancouver. Just beyond the fort you’ll find the Pearson Air Museum which is worth a visit. Fort Vancouver has a wonderful, hilly field where you’ll find picnic tables to enjoy a break.

The visitor center at the fort will provide you with plenty of historical information about the area. Continue your ride along shady Officer’s Row where the U.S. Grant House is located. After the roundabout you will find yourself on a busier urban street that takes you back to Columbia Street and your starting point. 

 

Ride Log

  • 0.0 Begin at the corner of W Sixth St and Columbia St in downtown Vancouver and ride south.
  • 0.2 Continue straight under railroad trestle. Columbia St is also known as SE Columbia Way from this point.
  • 1.1 Right onto bike path that follows the river.
  • 1.6 Reverse direction and continue along bike path.
  • 1.7 Right turn between buildings onto perpendicular bike path.
  • 1.8 Right turn to ride along street side of buildings.
  • 1.9 Left along bike path back to SE Columbia Way.
  • 2.0 Right onto SE Columbia Way.
  • 3.1 Right onto SE Marine Park Way.
  • 3.6 Reverse direction and return along SE Marine Park Way.
  • 4.0 Right onto bike path through Marine Park.
  • 4.2 Right onto SE Columbia Way.
  • 5.0 Right through parking lot to access bike path along the river.
  • 5.1 Left to follow bike path to Wintler Park.
  • 5.5 Reverse direction.
  • 6.0 Right at the parking lot; left onto SE Columbia Way.
  • 9.1 Right onto bike path under railroad trestle at Fort Vancouver.
  • 9.2 Right onto land bridge pathway. Follow path over highway and through Fort Vancouver.
  • 9.8 Right onto E Fifth St.
  • 10.2 Left onto E Reserve St.
  • 10.3 Left onto E Evergreen Blvd.
  • 10.8 Enter roundabout and exit to continue riding along E Evergreen Blvd.
  • 11.3 Left onto Columbia St.
  • 11.6 Return to the corner of W Sixth St and Columbia St. End ride.
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    18.093 km / 11.242 mi

    Total Distance

    98 m / 321 ft

    Total Ascent

    97 m / 318 ft

    Total Descent

    34 m / 111 ft

    Highest Point

    Ride type:
    Sightseeing
    Mountain biking
    Road riding
    Commuter
    Kid friendly
    Rail Trail
    Difficulty: Easy (Blue)
    Ride Duration: 1-2 hrs
    Fitness Level: Varied
    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: 11.6
    Elevation Gain: 425
    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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