Trail facts at a glance

Name - 4T Trail - connecting four methods of transit to create a large loop

Parks agency - SWTrails [the concept]; Portland Parks & Recreation [the hiking trails]; TriMet [MAX]; PBOT [Tram and Streetcar].

Contact - Don Baack for comments; agencies above for specific concerns

Location - Diverse, multi-modal tour of the west side of the city

Transit - Streetcar NS or B lines; MAX westbound to Zoo station; Tram OHSU

Length - 8 miles; 3 1/2 miles on foot; 4 1/2 miles by transit - allow 4 hours

How difficult do we consider it - easy to grueling depending on the section

Date of last visit - 6/25/2016

Date of last website update - 7/19/2016

A complete photo tour of the trail

click on any photo to begin various tours by topic

4T Trail Loop

SWTrails and multi agencies

What is the 4T?

With the completion of the Tram in 2006 and the newly-extended Streetcar line serving the new South Waterfront neighborhood, Hillsdale civic leader Don Baack, creator also of the SWTrails walking network [see also Stephens Creek], and his son Eric, conceived of the idea of taking four seemingly disparate ways of experiencing the city and combining them into one larger loop of nearly 8 miles.  If Don is the visionary for the loop trail, credit should go also to [recent mayor] Charlie Hales for envisioning the need and benefit for the Streetcar system as a way to better unify the various neighborhoods, and to OHSU for seeing the benefit of the Tram as a way of traveling between the upper campus/hospital and the rapidly expanding lower campus.  These projects were ridiculed at the time, but both have proven their worth and incredible popularity to families.  This gave PDOT the confidence to construct the recently opened Tilikum Crossing, the only full-size bridge in the US to exclude cars.

How to experience it

As the map below indicates there are 4 “T” segments to the “trail” that could be initiated at any point.  We prefer to start at the base of the Tram, rather than at the Zoo.  When the 4T loop was first envisioned this area was still a wasteland, but with the completion of several attractive new buildings and Tilikum Crossing, and with the extension of the MAX Orange Line and Streetcar Loop, this now is an area where one would like to finish the day, perhaps sitting outdoors at Tilikum Crossing [frappuccino at Starbucks or margarita at Flying Elephants?].  Having four, discrete segments may prove logistically difficult for some - whereas it’s easy to travel with family on public transit, negotiating 3.5 miles of foot travel may not be suitable for many families - intrepid hikers that have just completed the Marquam Trail may feel out of place riding the Streetcar.  Also, the Tram schedule is seasonal and closes earlier on weekends [5:00 pm] than weekdays [9:30 pm].  Pet policies vary for the 4 segments.

Click on map to open a larger map that can be downloaded or printed