Safe and Accessible Trails
Forest Park Conservancy partners with Portland Parks & Recreation to maintain and improve the soft surface trails in Forest Park for the
use and enjoyment of thousands of visitors each year. We conduct trail maintenance and trail improvement projects year-round, through the sun,
(partial sun,) rain, hail and sometimes snow. Portland’s wet climate, topography and geology make keeping these trails dry and evenly graded
a challenge, which we take on every year through thousands of hours of work contributed by hundreds of volunteers,
Volunteer Crew Leaders, trail interns and one full-time staff member. Trail work varies
with the seasons and, for much of the year, focuses on keeping the Northwest’s bountiful rainfall from damaging and eroding the trails.
Trail work is hard work, consisting of scraping, digging, grading, and hauling; chopping, lopping and sawing; hiking across creeks and through beautiful forest and watching the birds while you’re at it. In the summer, we cut back encroaching vegetation and rebuild eroded trail. When the rainy season comes, we scrape organic material from the trail surface and sculpt the tread to improve drainage. Year-round, we remove trees that have fallen across the trail, repair bridges and carry out other special projects as they arise.
Report trail hazards including trees down across the trails and fire lanes.
Current projects for 2015-2016
Thanks to a grant from Metro, we are regrading Wildwood Trail from mile 8 to 8.75. By adding rock retaining walls, drains, and leveling of
trail surface, we are making important improvements to this heavily used trail. Ancient Forest Preserve Trail We are expanding the trail
in FPC's Ancient Preserve located North of Forest Park. Thanks to support from REI and the Bill Healy Foundation, we hope to complete the trail
by the end of the summer of 2016. We are adding more signage, benches and a longer trail to enjoy this unique old growth forest so close to
Portland. If you're interested in supporting this project, contact Sheryl Sackman
This section of the Wildwood Trail between the Stone House and Holman Lane (mp 5.5 6) is many people’s first introduction to Forest Park. In connects people from local neighborhoods, with popular trail heads to the Stone House, Lower Macleay Park, the Audubon Society, and Pittock Mansion. It is a popular trail for runners, hikers, and families, many accompanied by dogs. The popularity of this trail has caused multiple areas of erosion, trail narrowing, and the exposing of sharp rocks.
We will add rock retaining walls to eliminate muddy areas and decrease the slope of the trail in certain areas. This project will make hiking on this section of the Wildwood so much better!
Springville Section of the Wildwood Trail
This section of Wildwood Trail (mp 21 - 22.5) is heavily used by hikers and runners, many accompanied by dogs. Six culverts have washed out, causing the trail to become muddy and dangerous during the wet seasons. To avoid hiking through the mud, people walk high creating a second trail. In order to eliminate the widening of trail and promote proper drainage, we will need to construct nearly 250 feet of retaining walls, replace 2 culverts, install french drains, and armor (put down gravel) the entire section of trail with gravel.
The Big Picture - Greater Forest Park Conservation Initiative
FPC's work maintaining and improving the trails in Forest Park ensures a great experience for visitors and plays an important role keeping our
streams free of sediment. This means native fish and other aquatic species have healthier habitats. Our trails work is a critical component
of the Greater Forest Park Conservation Initiative. To learn more about our 20 year plan to restore and protect Forest Park and the surrounding
land, click here.
This work is funded by individual donors, foundations, public agencies and local businesses. We also count on dedicated volunteers who make a huge
difference in Forest Park and even have fun in the process! If you'd like to donate or volunteer on these or other projects, please contact us.
Do you have suggestions for future trail projects? Let us know!
2014 PROJECTS Completed
Wild Cherry Trail
Thanks to support from lots of volunteers, we added rock retaining walls, drains, and trail surface maintenance to decrease erosion and difficulty of trail.
Alder Trail Re-Route
Many hikers will appreciate the addition of a new contour trail with North and South approaches from Wildwood trail and decommissioning (closure) of the steep and muddy old Alder trail.
TRAIL PROJECTS FROM 2012 AND 2013: