Along the banks of the Willamette River in Portland OR is an impressive wide, paved path to bike, hike, amble, or linger on the way. It's mostly flat, with interpretive signs and installations, benches to watch the water or view the city. The Tilikum Bridge itself is incredible. Parks on the west side of the river are beautiful, with fountains, public art, and both modern and historic architecture. Portland Saturday Market, Memorials, and Museums enlarge the wanderability--not to avoid mentioning the hotels, restaurants, shopping, and transit options all making it a memorable way to spend the day(s). Nearby is the gem of Chinatown: the Lan Su Chinese Garden. Downtown Portland is not too far away if you have the time & energy to go further.
Behind OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry) you can begin a walk or wheel of a 4 mi loop: I went south and passed over the river on Tilikum Crossing, continued up the west side of the river on the Waterfront Park Trail, crossed back over the Steel Bridge to the Eastbank Esplande and returned to where I began at a pay-to-park lot, SE Main & Eastbank Esplande. On the weekend it was only $4.50/day. Choose how much of the loop you want to journey on any particular day and match the stamina of the participants in your party. The eastside has more graffiti (both rude & crude), tenters and trash than the west side of the Willamette. It's too bad, because the city has invested a great deal in making it a pleasant place to explore. I would say it's OK for adults, but not great for young children on the east side much north of OMSI.
Kerr bikes rents surreys and a variety of pedals to push: offices on both sides of the river. Portland Bureau of Transportation rents e-scooters and bike sharing (pay by card and leave it where you're done) at various points around the city.
Tilikum Crossing is a bridge built just for transit, pedestrians, and bikes, with clearly delineated lanes for safety. The east entry is next to the Portland Opera, where you can use your credit card to get a bike or a scooter. Portland Opera is at the Hampton Opera Center 211 SE Caruthers St. Portland, OR 97214
Walking the West Side of the Willamette Waterfront
From Tilikum Crossing I rolled north up Bond Ave, then toward Poet's Beach along the west side of the River, and thence north to South Waterfront Park, South Hawthorne Waterfront Park, and Tom McCall Waterfront Park (where Saturday Market was happening).
Poet’s Beach, nearly under the Marquam Bridge, west bank of the Willamette River, Portland, OR 97201
Between the Morrison Bridge and the Burnside Bridge:
Oregon Marine Museum (a boat on the river) 198 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
Station Tours, sign up 2 weeks in advance at
Tom McCall Waterfront Park and Waterfront Park Trail; Portland OR
Bill Naito Legacy Fountain 2 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
Portland Saturday Market, Tom McCall Waterfront Park and Ankeny Plaza
North of the Burnside Bridge:
Japanese American Historical Plaza, NW Couch St. & Naito Pkwy--following are photos from 3-26-2022
Scroll down at https://www.travelpacificnw.com/accessible-travel-blog/greater-portland-or
Crossing the Steel Bridge to the Eastbank Esplande, and south to where I began
Unfortunately, plaques about the bridges are largely vandalized along the Eastbank Esplande. I'm choosing to show the more picturesque photos as I wheeled my way south. My electric wheelchair was getting sluggish after the whole day, so I was worried about running out of juice, but I was glad to have a motor: I could never have made it in a manual chair. The Eastbank Esplande has some interesting floating sections, and some fairly steep sections leading down to and up from them.
Bridges over the Willamette River, Portland OR
I've been in a wheelchair for 30+ years. It poses some challenges for traveling. Maybe others can benefit from my experiences.