Forest Park (via Germantown Rd.)

  • Level: Easy to Moderate (Beginner Level: Doable to Challenging.)
  • Length: <8.3 miles
  • Elevation: ± 450 ft. gain
  • Type: loop
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a
  • Drive time from Portland: ± 15 min.
  • Google map: “Germantown RD Wildwood Trail”
  • Features: Tualatin Mountains, Wildwood Trail, wildflowers, second and old growth forests

The Germantown Rd. entrance to the Wildwood Trail is by no means a “secret spot,” but as far as Forest Park goes, it is one of the less populated sections of it. You will likely see people, but you won’t be filing past a literal line of other hikers and trail runners as in other sections. In the winter months, I have at times seen no one. I do this trail frequently, especially when time is not on my side, but my body is whimpering for the outdoors. Forest Park is so easy to pass over and not appreciate because it’s right there, but it really is one of the coolest things about Portland. The park stretches eight miles along the West Hills (aka Tualatin Mountains), covering more than 5,100 acres. There are more than seventy miles of trails, including the popular Wildwood Trail, running through second growth forest and patches of old growth.

(I revisited this trail on April 25, 2017.)

The best part about this particular section of the trail is that you can go however long you want and loop back to the parking area by taking any one of the left side trails downhill to Leif Erickson Dr., an old forest road closed to motor vehicles. Be careful, some of these side trails are steep and muddy, but they are very short. When you reach  the Leif Erickson Dr. trailhead, loop back on the Cannon Trail to your car.

My favorite route (8.3 miles):

From the Wildwood trailhead on Germantown Rd., take the Wildwood Trail for 4.6 miles and then turn left onto Firelane 7a (a grassy downhill forest road) for 0.3 mile. Turn left at the Leif Erickson pointer onto a steep side trail that leads down to Leif Erickson Rd. Turn left after about 3 miles where you’ll reach the parking lot for Leif Erickson trailhead on Germantown Rd. Turn left onto the Cannon Trail to loop back up to the Wildwood parking area.

(I revisited this trail on April 25, 2017.)



Leif Erickson Dr.
Leif Erickson Dr.

3 thoughts on “Forest Park (via Germantown Rd.)

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