Seeking neighborhood to gravel trails proximity wisdom

[I grew up in Gresham and Portland (used to race up Larch Mtn with friends), but have lived in Seattle for many years. In that time, gravel riding became a thing. I’m considering relocating to Oregon, and am currently hanging out in Gresham for a bit.]

I have been trying to learn which neighborhoods or living areas are close in proximity to long gravel trails/fire roads, such that I could do long gravel rides every day without much road riding. I tend to be search-challenged though, rarely managing to conjure just the right keyphrases to find what I’m after. One recent search led me to the BikePortland post, “Scappoose to the Banks-Vernonia Trail via logging roads.”

But not being familiar with the area, I couldn’t connect the places to living areas.

Long story short: Do you know of areas where one could rent a house in close proximity to gravel trails or fire roads? Or am I seeking something in the land of unobtanium?

Thank you.

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It really depends where in the region you want to live and what type of riding you like/want to do.

If you want to stay close to Portland City Center, your best bet would be to rent something in southeast to be near East Buttes and be able to access deeper southeast areas like Barton/Happy Valley/Estacada. To learn more about East Buttes (and all local gravel routes in general), I strongly recommend plugging into the Unpaved group on Ride With GPS. – Unpaved - Picking up where the Goonies left off

And the Unpaved Google Group is an absolutely amazing resource for route info. Google Groups

Back to your question… You might also be happy finding a place in northwest Portland with close proximity to Leif Erikson Road (gravel) in Forest Park.

I would be very interested in Scappoose/Columbia County. That area is only 20 miles north of downtown Portland and is growing… And the riding out there is really fun. And property is much less expensive. There’s the Crown-Zellerbach Trail, Pittsburgh Road, Bacona Road, lots of larger, well-established logging roads, and great access out to Vernonia and all types of forest road action.

Here’s the BikePortland “Columbia County” story archives - columbia county -

Hope that’s helpful. Good luck!

Thanks for your helpful reply, Jonathan.

I have no concrete idea on where to live, and since I’m new to gravel, no clear ideas on that either. Any and all wisdom is appreciated. You’ve given me some good places to start investigating. Thank you!