Cycle Portland, Road & Kids Friendly Ride, Willamette Bridges Tour
Portland is a city of bridges with 10 crossing the Willamette River. Each provides beautiful vistas of the city and points beyond. This ride will bring you over the two most distant bridges – the St. Johns and the Sellwood bridges. Along the way plan to enjoy several parks, popular bike paths, and see the waterfront from both sides of the river.
Smooth, well-maintained street and paths.
Low-traffic streets and bike paths.
By car, from Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland, travel east on SW Sixth Avenue. This road will put you directly in front of Union Station where the ride begins. On-street parking.
By public transportation, take the TriMet MAX Green line toward Clackamas Town Center to the corner of NW Sixth Avenue and NW Hoyt Street. Easily accessible by foot from Pioneer Courthouse Square by walking down SW Sixth Avenue (becomes NW Sixth Avenue after crossing Burnside Street).
Food and Drink
There are restrooms and drinking fountains at Union Station, the East Esplanade near the Hawthorne Bridge, along Waterfront Park, and again at Willamette Park.
Ride the OHSU tram up Marquam Hill; ride the full length of the Springwater Corridor; visit Saturday Market, the University of Portland, and the downtown areas – quaint downtown St. Johns, colorful Sellwood Center, and Portland City Center
Beginning at renovated Union Station, travel along NW Naito Parkway where Saturday Market is in full swing on weekends. The traffic will be light as you ride the bike lane to Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Plan to encounter pedicabs, children splashing in the fountain, and lots of waterfront visitors. Along the south-side bike path there are many interesting storefronts. Ride under the Oregon Health and Science University tram that travels up Marquam Hill. There are a couple of tricky turns on the south side – one where the bike path ends at a parking lot and one after leaving Willamette Park.
Look for the Willamette Greenway Trail signs and you can’t go wrong. When in doubt, follow the signs to Sellwood. Just beyond the park, ride along the sidewalk in the opposite direction of traffic. At the end of this narrow section, you will take the lower road half-way down the hill to access the narrow and steep switchbacks that bring you to the Sellwood Bridge. Ride or walk your bike on the sidewalk. There is a sign indicating that bikes are in the roadway, but most people ride or walk on the sidewalk. The view of Portland from the Sellwood Bridge is magnificent. After crossing the bridge, ride back toward Portland via Springwater Corridor along the east side of the river to the Steel Bridge.
Here you will leave the river for a while to ride north to St. Johns where you’ll cross the most elegant bridge in Portland – the St. Johns Bridge – and have another sweeping view of the city. Return to Portland through the northwest quadrant of the city.
40.789 km / 25.345 mi
276 m / 905 ft
276 m / 906 ft
63 m / 207 ft