The River Trail

A new safe, low stress cycling route to Trader Joe’s! (And Cascade Village Mall)

Once you use a bike to get to the Cascade Village Mall, you’ll find it hard to drive. It’s beautiful and low stress. It’s a route you’ll never want to take for granted. The route is stunning along the river, quiet, serene and mostly level. I frequently see ducks, geese, and once even a great blue heron.

For years I’ve been riding my bicycle to the Cascade Village Mall via the Deschutes River Trail. Every time I had to sprint, in terror, across Highway 20 at NE Jamison Street, I thought safe cycling infrastructure would never come. I couldn’t find any safe routes for cycling to the mall. Now there is, and it’s glorious. Cycling from Drake Park (over the new bitchin’ boardwalk) north on the Deschutes River Trail to Cascade Village Mall, is now far safer and low stress, thanks to the new separated bike path along the west side of Highway 20 from NE Jamison to NW Robal Lane. The new roundabout has wide sidewalks, and well protected crosswalks with large safety islands between lanes, and… drum roll please… Pedestrian Warning Beg Buttons! I feel so powerful that now instead of sprinting across Highway 20 in terror, I just push a button and everybody comes to a stop. Safety has massively improved for cyclists and pedestrians at the north end. 

On my way home from drinking too much coffee at Starbucks, and with a bag of groceries from Trader Joe’s, I’m sometimes grateful for the restrooms at Harvest Park, Sawyer Park, and at Drake Park.

I find it to be a safe and spectacular bike route, and the absolute best way to get to Trader Joe’s. We are fortunate cyclists indeed.

I think the route might benefit from navigation bike signs at the north end, after leaving the River Trail. “Cascade village mall bike route?“➡

Enjoy. The route is a happiness generator. ❤


How to get there from here.

Start at the new boardwalk in Drake Park on the Deschutes River Trail, and head north (down stream). As you ride, look for and identify the 4×4 posts that mark the river trail. After crossing NW Mt. Washington at the crosswalk down from the steep dirt hill, make the first left turn back onto the trail, between the homes and the golf course. At mile 2.15 or so, look for a 4×4 trail marker for the Sawyer foot bridge and turn right toward the river. 

The North End 

Below is the route I take at the north end. It’s a curvier route than others and keeps auto traffic slow. These are low traffic neighborhoods. 

After riding through Sawyer Park, turn left on OB Riley. (Be cautious at the NW Empire intersection. Drivers seem to be extra impatient at that intersection). Turn right (across from the Montessori sign), onto Halfway Road, at mile 3. The second street on your left is NW Lavacrest Street. Turn left there. You’ll pass Harvest Park (with restrooms) on your right.

Follow Lavacrest, which changes to Poe Shoals drive when it turns east. Follow Poe Shoals until it dead ends at the stop sign (and T-intersection) at NE Jamison Street. Turn left on Jamison. Head up a short distance to the first intersection and stop sign. The separated paved bike path that parallels Highway 20 starts across the intersection at Xanthippe Ln which has no street sign. After crossing there at the unpainted crosswalk (but with new sidewalks and curbing), take the new bike path to NW Robal Lane, and push the beg button at the crosswalk. Follow the bike lane east (right) on Robal to the Cascade Village Mall entrance at NW Hunnel Road.* 

Turn right on Hunnel** and immediately go to Starbucks. Get yourself a coffee and Danish to enhance the memory of the beautiful and safe bike ride you just had. Sit, sip, savor, and reflect on how fortunate you are, and how motorists don’t know what they are missing on their trip to the mall. Briefly feel bad for them, and then plan your shopping. Definitely get the whipped cream. 

Restrooms: The first Restroom is in Pioneer Park just after crossing Portland. The next is at .9 miles, (porta potty) at First Street Park. The third is at Sawyer Park. The last one before the mall is at Harvest Park on Lava Crest. All have bike racks. 

* Turn left on Hunnel, for Sportsman’s Warehouse, Home Depot, Michaels Crafts, Staples, and Target. 

**Turn right on Hunnel for Starbucks, Trader Joe’s, Local Acres, Best Buy, Dicks Sporting Goods, and PetSmart.