From Portland, OR, take West Burnside St.
From West Burnside St. and NW 15th Ave, go uphill for 2.6 miles and bear right onto NW Skyline Blvd. Follow NW Skyline Blvd. for 2.7 miles, passing NW Cornell Road and reaching NW Thompson Road. After passing NW Thompson Road, continue on NW Skyline Blvd. for .9 mile and turn left on NW Mears Dr., dropping down into Forest Heights Subdivision.
Park on NW Mears Dr. or one of the other side streets nearby. Walk back up to Skyline Blvd. and Thunder Crest Subdivision is across NW Skyline Blvd., just on the left. Walk .1 mile through the subdivision on NW Thunder Crest Road. The gray gate, at the end of the road on the right, is the trailhead.
Parking, hiker drop-offs and pick-ups are not allowed in Thunder Crest Subdivision.
Leash law and scoop laws are in effect for this trail.
No permits are required.
There are no bathrooms at this trailhead.
Length and Elevation:
4.5 miles round trip. Elevation gain 600 feet and loss 600 feet round trip. Elevation at the trailhead is 1,100 feet and the high point is 1,100 feet. The low point is 550 feet in elevation.
Fire Lane 3 Road, Wildwood Trail, Maple Trail, and Leif Erikson Drive.
Review: November 10, 2008
Walk to the gray metal gate at the end of Thunder Crest Road. Walk past the gate and down Fire Lane 3 for a few hundred feet and pass a second metal gate. The trail descends steadily and enters Forest Park after about .2 mile.
After about .5 mile from the gray gate turn right, towards the southwest, onto Wildwood Trail. Bicycles are prohibited on the Wildwood and Maple Trails but there is plenty of foot traffic on the Wildwood trail on sunny weekends.
After gently descending for about .1 mile, you reach the first switchback. Just down the trail a bit is a short connector trail to the Maple Trail. Stay on the Wildwood trail and turn right at this junction. The trail drops down, crosses a small gully, then climbs towards another ridge. This part of the trail is absent of any city noises. When you stop to listen, there aren’t any sounds from cars, trains, or mountain bikes.
The trail winds on a mostly level contour as it goes around the end of a ridge. This area is second growth forest with Cedars, fir trees, maple, alders, vine maples, salmon berries, sword, maiden hear, and bracken ferns. There are elderberry trees, thimbleberries, piggyback plants, nettles, and mosses. There are also some old growth trees scattered along this section of the trail.
About 1.5 miles from the junction of Fire Lane and the Wildwood Trail is the next junction, the Maple Trail at N 45° 33.139’, W 122° 45.498’. Turn left onto Maple Trail and head downhill. The trail switchbacks down into and then across a gully with a small stream in it then the trail switchbacks up the north side of the gully.
After a rain the trail has mud and puddles but the mud is only a couple of inches deep and the puddles are pretty small so it is fairly easy to negotiate through these with hiking boots.
After going on the Maple Trail for about .5 mile, you pass the lower junction of the Wildwood Trail connector trail at N 45° 33.252, W 122° 45.602.
After climbing up the north side of the gully, the Maple Trail is fairly level and there are some clearings below the trail that are open to the sky. The Maple Trail begins to go downhill and meets Leif Erikson Drive and Fire Lane 3. Cross Leif Erikson Drive and walk towards the log barricade. Maintenance vehicles are the only motorized vehicles allowed on Leif Erikson Drive but it is open to bicycles in addition to foot traffic.
The Maple Trail continues off into the woods past the log barrier. After about .4 mile on the Maple Trail, turn left on Koenig Trail and walk up to Leif Erikson Drive. Turn left at Leif Erikson Drive, walk about 150 feet, and turn right on the lightly used trail to continue on the Koenig Trail.
After following the Wildwood Trail for about .6 mile, turn right on Fire Lane 3. Now comes the downside of this hike, which is steep trek back to the trailhead. Luckily the ascent doesn’t last very long, but the next few hundred feet of the trail are pretty steep.
Walk past the gates, back through the subdivision to return to your car.
This hike in Forest Park uses very heavily used trails and very lightly used trails. It is great for young hikers because there are shortcuts available if someone gets tired. It is a great experience for people learning to navigate with a map and compass or GPS because of the various trail junctions.
Enjoy the Photos!