I love exploring Johnson Creek, the waterway that marks the southern boundary of the city of Portland. I’ve featured it on several rides I’ve done. But I’ve never made the creek (and several of its tributaries) the focus of a ride. So I was excited to lead my first ever Creek Country Ramblers on Saturday August 13th. It would be my second-most ambitious ride for Pedalpalooza 2022 (The Midweek Gorge being the first). So why not make it more ambitious by riding my Raleigh Superbe?
We had a baker’s dozen riders at the meetup in Kenilworth Park in SE. (A couple folks who signed up didn’t show.) From there it was south to the first stream: Crystal Springs Creek as it passes through the Reed College campus (known here as Reed Canyon). (We didn’t see its source, as it’s not a bike-appropriate spot.) We followed Crystal Springs southwestward for a couple miles until it flows into Johnson Creek.
Now the ride was heading east, following Johnson Creek. We got on and off the Springwater Corridor bike path, which generally parallels the creek. Stops include the WPA wall and spillway/weir just west of SE 45th, a sneak peek at tiny Errol Creek (Errol Heights Park was closed, so we couldn’t see the wetlands and source of the creek), super-secret Knapp Falls (pretty dry this time of year), Foster Floodplain, the Deardorff Road covered bridge, and super-duper-secret Kingsley D. Bundy Park. Many of us dipped our feet in Johnson Creek here, including myself. (It’s the reason why I wore waterproof sandals!) 1
We continued east on the Springwater past Powell Butte and into Gresham. Near the junction of the Gresham-Fairview Trail we spied the source of Fairview Creek at Southwest Park, then continued north on Gresham-Fairview to Ruby Junction where the ride ended, 21 miles from the start.
A few of us had food at the food carts, then scattered. I purposely ended the ride at Ruby Junction to give us the opportunity to ride the MAX home. I thought I would, but still had some energy in me so I rode the whole way home. This made for a thirty-five mile day, all on my Raleigh Superbe!
And this is the end of my Pedalpalooza rides, at least the ones I’ll be leading. I’m looking to do a few in October, stay tuned.
For the rough route of this ride, see this Ride With GPS map.
1 I had a scare after I got home and heard about a sewage leak in Mount Scott Creek. Since we were on the north side of Mount Scott here, I hoped that Mount Scott Creek didn’t flow into Johnson Creek. Thankfully for us it doesn’t, as it stays to the south of Mount Scoot. But not so lucky for anyone downstream of the sewage leak…