Greater Portland Area, Oregon

Investing in Trails and Nature to Improve Quality of Life in Greater Portland

Fanno Creek Trail, Beaverton, Oregon | Photo courtesy Oregon Metro

Project Spotlight: The Intertwine

When conceived over 100 years ago by landscape architect John Charles Olmsted, Portland’s trail system was envisioned to be 40 miles long. Today, as the region (of 2.5 million people) continues to grow in population and footprint, the need for open space and trails becomes more critical.

As part of a coalition of 165+ public, private and nonprofit organizations known as The Intertwine Alliance—the Portland Metropolitan Region seeks to create The Intertwine, an interconnected system of parks, trails and natural areas spanning more than 700 miles across four counties and two states. To date, more than $60 million in public funds has gone to complete the trail network, which is acknowledged as an “essential element of the … metropolitan area’s economic success, human and ecological health, civic vitality and overall quality of life.”

The Intertwine is focused on meeting the needs of a growing and changing population in the Greater Portland Area, including low-income residents and communities of color. Highlights include projects such as Access Trails—a program of Access Recreation—that provides trail information for people of all abilities; the City of Portland’s Green Loop, which links key pieces of the city’s existing open space network, Intertwine Regional Trail Signs and the 46-mile Lewis & Clark Greenway Trail in Clark County, Washington. The project is also supporting Metro’s Regional Active Transportation Plan.

By building and connecting the region’s 3,000 square miles of parks, trails and natural areas, and ensuring the equitable distribution of these assets, the partners are advancing a collective vision where trails help drive the region’s economy, preserve natural resources and wildlife, protect the local environment, promote health and wellness, and create better community connections that will increase the quality of life for current and future generations.

The Intertwine’s Focus Areas

Intertwine projects are “investments in nature,” which loosely fall into 12 categories and collectively work together to make the Greater Portland Area a healthier and better place to live. (Learn more about the focus areas.)

Diversity | Equity and Inclusion | Regional System | Conservation| Health and Nature | Engagement | Youth Engagement | Ecosystem Services | Economic Development | Urban Forestry | Active Transportation | Conservation Education

Featured Article

Eye On: Oregon’s Salmonberry Corridor Rail-Trail

Rails to Trails Magazine, Fall 2014
By Laura Stark

The Salmonberry Corridor Rail-Trail will span 86 miles from the pastoral community of Banks in the foothills of the Coast Range and through remote forests of the Salmonberry River Canyon to the charming towns along the Oregon Coast.

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Oregon Regional Trails System Plan
Oregon Regional Trails System Plan | Download Map

Facts and Figures

Partners: Metro; The Intertwine Alliance; Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District; City of Portland; Washington County; Oregon Trails Coalition; 40-Mile Loop Land Trust; North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District; Clark County (Washington); more than 155 other public, private and nonprofit organizations (See full partner list.)

Featured Project: The Intertwine

Mileage: More than 700 miles of regional trails

Projects and Programs: Access Trails, Willamette Falls Riverwalk, Green Loop, Intertwine Regional Trail Signs, Lewis & Clark Greenway Trail, Metro Regional Active Transportation Plan, West Side Trail, North Portland Greenway Trail

Metro Regional Trails: View a list of Existing and Proposed regional trails in the Portland Metro Region.

Goals: Economic development, conservation, connections to nature, health and wellness, connectivity, accessibility

Learn More: Explore The Intertwine | The Intertwine – Interactive Map | Explore Metro | Metro 2014 Regional Active Transportation Plan

Photo courtesy Oregon State Parks

Trail of the Month: Oregon’s Banks-Vernonia Trail

TrailBlog, January 2016

A thread of black in an emerald blanket, the Banks-Vernonia State Trail weaves its way between two peaceful towns in the foothills of Northwest Oregon’s Coast Range, less than an hour’s drive from Portland.

By Laura Stark

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