For about 5 years now, I have coordinated and led a bike ride in Southeast Portland that I call the Southeast Ponds Ride. As of January 2014, I’m riding a shortened 8 mile variant of this ride 4 or 5 times per week. However, the official ride is a little closer to 11.5 miles in distance. You’ll encounter some of the most beautiful ponds, lakes, rivers, and creeks in the Portland area on this ride if you get a chance to ride it.
I’ll be leading this ride again for Pedalpalooza 2014.
View SE Ponds Loop – 1/1/2014 11:21AM in a larger map
To begin this ride, I recommend starting in the north parking lot of the Reed College campus. The map below shows the path (in dark black) to take to get you through the campus and off to the rest of the SE Ponds Ride. Please take your time getting through the campus as this is immediately some of the greatest views you will encounter on the ride.
After you get yourself across the Canyon Bridge and to the south side of Reed Lake, you’ll see Eliot Hall, and you’ll want to turn to the right. To learn more about Reed Canyon history, I recommend checking out the webpage on the Reed College website. http://reed.edu/canyon/
Once you exit the Reed College campus, you’ll cross SE 28th Avenue and you’ll go left (south) when you see Berry Good Produce in front of you. Then, just a short distance up the hill and around the corner, you’ll come up to the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. This Pedalpalooza ride is typically scheduled on a Tuesday, when access to the Rhododendron Garden is free!
Once you leave the Rhododendron Garden and continue south, you’ll turn right at the next intersection Woodstock/28th that turns into Bybee. You’ll wind around and down the hill, past the golf course and over the bridge that crosses the 99 highway. On the other side of the bridge, you’ll turn left at the street after the first traffic light. Watch for traffic as you do this. This is one of the most traffic busy area’s of this ride. Some folks may feel more comfortable pulling over and walking their bike across this busy street (Bybee).
Once you turn left onto SE 22nd Avenue, you’ll see Westmoreland City Park to your right. As of this writing, May 5, 2014, the park is undergoing a huge restoration project. I was hoping that maybe we could ride down the boardwalk of the park, if cycles are allowed. But I’m not entirely certain things will be ready by June 10th. We may end up just riding by on 22nd, which is what we’ve done in all previous years anyway.
Next we will meander west through the Sellwood neighborhood, taking Rex Street up to 11th before turning right and enjoying the breathtaking view of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, with Portland’s skyline in the background from Sellwood Blvd. More information about the park here.
We’ll wind around the bluff of Oaks Bottom Park before we descend down into the park. While on our trek through Oaks Bottom Park, don’t be surprised if you see deer, eagles, or great blue heron. There are all kinds of amazing wildlife to be found in this park that is right in Portlands backyard.
After Oaks Bottom, we head east on SE Spokane Street, back to the south end of Westmoreland Park to see some houses that are built pretty much right on top of Crystal Springs Creek.
Next we cross Tacoma Street and on over to Johnson Creek City Park before getting onto the Springwater trail and heading over to Tideman Johnson City Park.
Then we wrap the ride up by heading back over to the Reed College Campus for a walk along the east end of the lake (not riding our bikes during this part).