The Springwater Corridor forms a major southeast segment of the 40-Mile Loop, a multi-use trail that circles the city of Portland, some of which is incomplete. The 21.5-mile Springwater Corridor extends from SE 4th Avenue at SE Ivon Street in Portland (near the Willamette River) to the town of Boring. The trail is paved the entire way. There is a gap in the trail between 13th and 19th streets in Portland, which can be bridged by an on-road segment.
Portland is renowned and envied for its parks, trails and general outdoors vibe, and the Springwater Corridor fits rights in. The trail winds along the banks of the Willamette River in downtown Portland to the rural exurbs, connecting a diversity of neighborhoods, natural areas and industrial sites. It's important for both recreation and a transportation commuter corridor: the trail links bike lanes, transit, light rail, buses and other regional trails.
The Springwater's history stretches back to the early 1900s, when a rail line was built to bring people, produce and timber from areas south and east of Portland into the growing metropolis. Known variously as the Portland Traction Company Line, the Cazadero Line and the Bellrose Line, the railroad finally adopted the name of the Springwater Division Line, although neither the railroad nor the trail that bears the town's name ever reached this small community.
As the automobile gained dominance, the Springwater line faded, and it finally ceased carrying passengers in 1958. Freight- and timber-hauling operations continued for three more decades, but by the 1980s derailments were common along the aging Springwater line. Portland eventually bought the railroad corridor for a multi-use trail.
From the eastern terminus, you will enjoy views of the Willamette River and downtown Portland's different business districts. Heading east, you pass through residential areas, following Johnson Creek most of the way to Gresham. Between Gresham and Boring, agriculture dominates the landscape, with beautiful views of Mt. Hood.
The Springwater Trail passes through or near several parks and refuges, including Powell Butte, Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, Tideman Johnson Nature Park, Beggers-Tick Wildlife Refuge and Leach Botanical Garden. Watch for red-tailed hawks, great blue herons and eagles overhead or resting in trees and in wetlands.
Access to the trail is available at many locations. Refer to the Portland Parks and Recreation map for specific details. Local access can be reached at any public street or bike trail intersecting the trail, including the I-205 Multi-Use Path.