Cycle Portland, Road Ride, Hillsboro Farmlands
This area of Hillsboro is a sensory delight of farmland, distant mountains, and golden wheat fields, not to mention the chickens, goats, and llamas you’ll see along the way.
Smooth, well-maintained streets in Hillsboro, some with bike lanes, then paved, narrow rural roads with narrow shoulders.
Moderate traffic on urban streets in Hillsboro, then low-traffic rural roads.
By car, take U.S. Route 26 west and merge onto NW Cornelius Pass Road, turn right onto NE Cornell Road then left onto NE 231st Avenue and right onto NE Alder Street. On-street parking.
By public transportation, take any red or blue line TriMet MAX train west to Orenco MAX station in Hillsboro.
Food and Drink
There are several small shops close by the Orenco TriMet MAX station to provide options for food and drink. About six miles from the end of the ride there is a restaurant on Helvetia Road. No public restrooms available.
Old Scotch Church, Helvetia Tavern, Jackson Bottom Wetlands.
Leaving the Orenco MAX station in suburban Hillsboro you will ride for about five miles on wide multi-lane roads with bike lanes. The ride becomes distinctly more rural once you turn onto Jackson School Road and remains so for the next 28 miles. You’ll pass the Old Scotch Church built in 1878 by Scottish Presbyterian immigrants. It’s definitely worth stopping for a photo.
Most of the route is relatively flat until about the 25 mile mark. Then you’ll find four hills. One on Mason Hill Road, one on Jackson Quarry Road, and the other two on Helvetia Road, the last of which is the highest peak. However, none of the hills is so challenging that you need to walk your bicycle with the highest peak at sub-500 feet. All provide opportunities for vista viewing at their peaks. The flat sections of the ride are along narrow paved rural roads with very low traffic. Though the shoulders are narrow, this is not a problem as you will not be competing for space with very many cars. You may encounter a horse or two, however. If you do this ride during the summer, you will pass by farms of golden waves of wheat and the occasional vineyard.
A short diversion up Bishop Road will bring you to a llama farm. This road is unpaved and a bit steep but worth the side trip to see the llamas up close. The return ride along Helvetia Road brings you to a delightful and popular restaurant with a front deck designed for tired and thirsty cyclists to enjoy refueling. It sits across from a farm with goats and donkeys that enjoy the attention of visitors. Turning onto NW Jacobson Road you return to suburbia quickly and ride through a residential neighborhood. Pick up the bike/pedestrian trail at Rock Creek Park to avoid the heavily traveled NW 185th Avenue. The only sections of the ride that have heavy traffic are the first and last mile.
59.695 km / 37.093 mi
416 m / 1,366 ft
416 m / 1,366 ft
141 m / 462 ft