|This flat, fast
stretch of paved path runs parallel to Marine Drive past the busy rail
and oceangoing terminals but is set nicely away from the road.
On most days, it's so quiet you could read a book there. For nature
lovers, a bonus is the access to Smith and Bybee Lakes.
Start at Kelley Point Park. Park your car, walk to the sandy bank where
the Columbia meets the Willamette, and check out the ships arriving
at the Port of Portland's terminals. The park is underutilized and lovely,
with shady picnic areas and fishing spots.
Heading east out of the park, you'll slide easily onto a wide, smooth
trail through one of Portland's light industrial districts.
The trail diverts into a secluded area next to the Smith and Bybee Lakes
wetlands area, one of the largest urban freshwater wetlands in the nation
and home to more than 100 species of birds. Scenic overlooks and walking
paths invite riders down to the waterline for a daily bird fest.
Back on the loop, walkers and cyclists turn left on North Portland Road
back to Marine Drive and up on a trail running parallel to the Oregon
Slough across from the Expo Center. Riders pedal under I-5 and can either
head over the bridge to Vancouver or pedal into East Delta Park. Food
is available at nearby convenience stores and restaurants for the walk
or ride back.
Watch for blue herons and hawks.
Distance: 5.6 miles one-way
Source for some of the
above: "The 40-Mile Loop: More than a bike trail, and more
than 40 miles" The Oregonian, September 30, 2009.