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Moving to Portland, OR - cycling, skiing, hiking recs?

Hi y’all! I’m Abby, I’m from Ohio and I’m going to be moving to Portland, Oregon next month. 

I’m looking for some recommendations of hikes in the area and just honestly anything to get me started outdoor wise. I’m also open to hikes and stuff in neighboring states as well. I’m okay with moderate things but I am always up for a challenge too! Thank you 🙂

3 Replies


Hi Abby - Welcome to the community! Congrats on the move out to Portland. It is such an amazing area. You are sure to find tons of ways to have fun getting outside. 

We suggest taking a look at our Portland area board, where there are lots of conversations that might have the sort of information you are looking for. Knowing that you're open to traveling a bit to explore your new area, the various Locations boards will take you to different pages to find lots of local information! 

Here are some suggestions I have from my time in the area:

  • Cycling
    • Coast Range Rambler - This one might fit in your "bit of a challenge" category, but a gorgeous gravel trail to check out! I wouldn't recommend it on a road bike though.
    • Banks-Vernonia Trail - A paved rail trail that has some neat views and connects to some state parks. You can pick from a number of starting and ending locations.
  • Skiing
    • You're moving to one of the coolest volcano skiing areas around, in my opinion. Long seasons, great snow, fairly easy access — enjoy Mt Hood and all it has to offer!
    • Mt Hood Ski Bowl - It's a classic for a reason. They have lots of terrain and its lit at night too.
    • Teacup Lake - If nordic skiing is up your alley, these trails are a must!

Hopefully some others weigh in here with their suggestions as well. @Bugzer@jmoss@Bryanne@Cheryl@POCOPAM@dougmcclay - Do y'all have any Oregon outdoor spots to suggest for someone moving out that way?

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hello @Burrell-abby,

@REI-CarterC is right on about a lot of those outdoor activities. I did bike ride of Banks-Vernonia Trail about a month ago, first time there. It is a reasonably popular trail, crowds aren't bad on the actual trail, but parking in Banks was crowded. 

For a short winter popular hike or xcross ski, Trillium Lake and Mirror Lake on Mt Hood are great.

If you want a little more of a challenge with a few mountain up hills, Silver Star Mt and Hamilton Mt make great day hikes, they're both in WA near Portland and you will need a WA discover pass o pay day use. 

Goat Rocks wilderness is great too. Its a little further to drive on the WA side from Portland. Near Packwood, WA, between St Helens and Mt Rainier. Its probably my top favorite hike and something for a overnight or a couple days. I take Berry Patch trailhead to Hawkeye ridge and Goat Lake. Here is a photo I took this summer. Goat Lake from Hawkeye RidgeGoat Lake from Hawkeye Ridge

Another great resource, that I found very useful when I moved here, for hikes in the Portland and PNW is Northwest Hiker, (



Folks ... from Portland, there's a world of outdoor activities within 100 miles ... go west (ocean), go east (gorge, cascades and high desert), go north (st helens :)), go south (crater lake / sisters, etc)....

You can't exhaust the opportunities - only your imagination and endurance are the limits... 

I moved to OR in 1986 from Indiana via Maine ...and will never go back to midwest to live -

(if you want specific recommendations based on different activities and difficulty, send me a personal message, and I'll give you a bunch) ... if you want to see what hiking in OR can be ... 

OR is the best - experience it!

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