Welcome to Portland Trails! All trails that have a Portland Trails sign are free for you to enjoy, and they are open every day of the year. The trails are here for you and your family to use for transportation, exercise, and recreation. They are spaces where you can relax, connect with nature, and find peace. They are paths that connect you to destinations and neighborhoods throughout Greater Portland. They are your trails! 

 

Read on to see our trail tips and frequently asked questions. Click here to see our trail map and learn more about specific trails. If you have a question, please send us an email at info@trails.org!

 

                     

 

Trail Tips

Trail basics

Here are a few guidelines to keep yourself, other trail users, and wildlife safe:

 

  • Stay on the marked trails. Trails are usually marked with Portland Trails signs, but some trails also have colored paint dashes on trees. These are known as blazes, and they are there to help keep you on the trail. Please stay on the marked trails. There’s a reason a trail exists where it does! When you (and your dog!) stay on a trail, you are protecting the sensitive environment that surrounds you.

 

  • Follow all posted warnings, signs, and other instructions. These signs are here for your safety, the safety of your fellow trail users, and the safety of the plants and animals who live near the trail.

 

  • Do not use trails if they are muddy. In the spring, trails are thawing from the winter and are very fragile. Some areas may be very wet or muddy. If you find yourself on a very muddy trail, please turn around and visit a less wet trail instead. If you do encounter a small muddy spot, please walk through the mud rather than going around it. Walking around wet or muddy spots widens trails and can harm the surrounding environment.

 

  • Carry in, carry out. Please take everything you brought with you (including all your trash AND dog waste!) and leave nature as you found it. Most trails do not have trash cans.

 

  • Do not start a fire on any of our trails. Please properly dispose of or refrain from using any lighters, cigarettes, or other smoking devices while on the trails as they can lead to forest fires.

 

  • Keep wildlife wild. Please do not feed animals or remove plants you’re not authorized to. This keeps the trails a safe place for native plants and animals to thrive. It also keeps animals far away from trail users!

Sharing the trails

All the trails in the Portland Trails network are used by people of various ages and abilities, as well as people using different modes of transportation. The trails are as much for other trail users as they are for you. Whether you’re walking, running, biking, or rolling, please make space for every trail user you encounter!

 

Here are a few guidelines to make sure the trails are safe and fun for every trail user:

 

  • If you're biking, use caution when passing slower moving trail users. Slow down as you approach someone walking, using a wheelchair, pushing a stroller, or using another slower form of transportation. Use a bell or verbally announce yourself, and pass slowly and at a safe distance. 

 

  • Make sure others can see you. We strongly encourage everyone, especially cyclists, to wear reflective gear and appropriate lights when you’re traveling in the dark or in low light.

 

  • In the winter, avoid stepping on cross-country ski tracks. This keeps the tracks in good condition for future skiers to use.

 

Responsible dog ownership

You love your dog, but some trail users do not feel safe around dogs they don’t know. In addition to making people uncomfortable, dogs (particularly when they’re off-leash!) can also be dangerous to people on bikes.

 

Here are a few important guidelines to follow when you bring your dog on a trail:

 

  • Do not assume others are comfortable around dogs. Even if you know your dog is friendly, don’t assume that others will be okay being approached by your dog.

 

  • Keep your dog under your control 100% of the time. If your dog is not fully under voice control, use a leash. Please abide by any signage that requires leashing. Please refer to the City of Portland’s leashing requirements here

 

  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Be on the lookout for other trail users, dogs, and wildlife.

 

  • Keep other trail users safe and comfortable. This means that when you see others coming, you should…
    • Yield to other trail users
    • Step to the side, leash your dog, and have them sit off the trail
    • Communicate with other trail users to let them know you’ve got your dog under control
    • Keep your dog out of “sniffing range” of other trail users

 

  • Only walk as many dogs at once as you can keep under your control at all times. For the comfort and safety of all our trail users, we discourage one person walking a group of dogs on a trail.

 

  • Take your dog’s waste with you. Dog waste often ends up polluting local waterways. Please scoop it up and dispose of it at home or in a public trash can. Don’t leave bagged waste on the trails! You can learn more here.

 

                     

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question, there’s a good chance someone else has asked! Read through our frequently asked questions below, organized by topic.
Still have a question? Please reach out to info@trails.org or send us a Facebook message.