- I enjoy hiking the trails of SW Portland, how can I help maintain them?
SWTrails hosts monthly Work parties, we’ll take volunteers on any ability, or skillset. See our Help the Trails page for more information, and our Events Calendar for the next work party.
- Where do I find maps of trails in SW Portland?
Useful trail maps can be found by visiting our GIS/Mapping page. There are also links to other maps produced by Portland Parks, and PBOT.
- How did SWTrails get started?
Our founder, Don Baack, has been walking the streets of SW Portland since 1972, and has been hindered by busy streets with no sidewalks. No one knew about alternative routes, and it was clear to him that funding sidewalks on the 75% of the 280 miles of SW Streets that do not have them was not going to happen. We needed safer, more comfortable routes to walk. That led to a major effort by all the SW Neighborhoods to identify where they want to walk, and eventually to the City Council Urban Trails Plan. Volunteers then began constructing key connections on unbuilt rights of way with City permission. We now have a walkable network with some exceptions where we are waiting for large projects like the crossing of Naito at Whitaker and the Bridge over Tryon on Boones Ferry Road.
- Why are directional trail signs not posted in some areas?
Sign placement varies based on the jurisdiction they are in. For example, signs on a public Right-of-way are the responsibility of Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), whereas signs in city parks are the responsibility of Parks & Recreation. SWTrails is working with all landowners to assure that signs are consistent throughout the trail network.
- How do I become a member of SWTrails?
Membership costs $10 annually, with all proceeds going toward support of our mission. Visit our Join Page for details.
- How do I donate to SWTrails?
All donations are greatly appreciated to further our work in improving walking in SW Portland. See our Donate Page for more details.
- Are there plans to expand the Urban trail network?
Yes, there are plans to extend trail 6 into downtown Lake Oswego, Trail 1 into Beaverton and Trail 5 into Tigard, however, Intergovernmental Agreements (IGA) are needed between jurisdictions and are difficult to come by. We also have a few important connections to make to create a safer, and better network.
- There’s a trail near me that needs improving, how can I get it fixed?
Go to our “Report Problems” page, and leave a comment.
- Are there similar organizations in other parts of Portland (i.e. SE/NE, or NW Portland)?
No, we are a one-of-a-kind organization and serve the neighborhoods encompassed by SW Neighborhoods Inc (SWNI).
- How do I stay informed of events that SWTrails is planning?
There are three ways to stay up-to-date:
- When is the “Red Electric” Trail scheduled to be open?
The Red Electric, named for the train line that ran along roughly the same route, will be part of the urban trail system once all portions are complete. The route must somehow cross the gully in George Himes park on a bridge, and the existing Barbur bridges cannot be modified to do the job so we are waiting for the SW Corridor bridge to be built to finish the trail. Portions of the trail are open now, the remaining portions are listed in the Transportation System Plan for planned for construction sometime in the next two decades. Detailed information can be found by visiting our Red Electric
- Where can I find more information about hiking the world-famous 4T Trail?
The “Trail, Tram, Trolley, Train” Trail is among Portland’s highlights for locals and visitors alike. More information on operating hours, directions to trailheads, parking, history, etc. can be found by visiting the 4-T Trail website: 4T-Trail.org.