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Ellen Davis Trail Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The Friendship Bridge, Ellen Davis Trail (bobcat)
Hazel on NE 22nd, Ellen Davis Trail (bobcat)
Douglas-fir woods, Ellen Davis Trail (bobcat)
Route of the Ellen Davis Trail in red (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Leverich Park TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: St. James Road Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 5.2 miles
  • High point: 270 feet
  • Elevation gain: 420 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Sometimes


Hike Description

The Ellen Davis Trail diverts off of the Burnt Bridge Creek/Discovery Trail, covered in the Burnt Bridge Creek Hike, near I-5 and Leverich Park. Its mostly gravel surface heads up along a hilltop bristling with the high-voltage towers at the J.D. Ross Substation Complex, the Northwest's distribution hub for the Bonneville Power Administration. The trail heads through the quiet Minnehaha Neighborhood before entering woods above the railroad corridor in Cold Canyon and rising to meet St. James Road.

From the Leverich Park Trailhead, descend the slope towards the creek and cross one of the bridges. Go left to reach the paved Discovery Trail and exit the park. A Burnt Creek Bridge Greenway access sign gives the mileage for that trail. Walk a couple of blocks, keeping to the right side of the street and cross NE Leverich Park Way to reach the Discovery-Ellen Davis Trail Junction below the Greenway bike/pedestrian bridge over I-5.

Make a sharp right here and pass the memorial plaque for Ellen Davis, a local activist for green spaces who was instrumental in lobbying for this trail. The pavement ends at the Friendship Bridge over Burnt Creek (There is a plaque here) and you head uphill under Douglas-firs. At a junction, keep left (right is a shortcut) and loop around to keep to the right as the trail heads up a slope. Switchback under powerlines and head up to a large grassy area under powerlines, this whole parklike landscape under the lines being part of the B.P.A.’s Ross Substation Complex. Some trees remain from the time when this area was used as a nursery for plantings at the B.P.A.'s various sites. The paved trail resumes with NE Ross Street to the left. The trail crosses an entrance to parking for the park/dog park and then becomes a footpath as it crosses more parking entrances and NE 15th Avenue. Keep heading uphill next to Ross Street, passing a dog park and crossing 18th Avenue. The huge power station complex is to the left across the street. Cross NE 53rd Street and then bend left to cross Ross to a gravel road. Go right on the gravel, heading downhill next to NE 54th as far as NE 22nd Avenue, where you go left. Head down this street to where the trail picks up again as a footpath heading up under a tall hazel to eight short switchbacks and the top of a wooded rise. Short trails head off to the left and right under Douglas-firs and cedars. Keeping to the main trail, head straight down to where the trail runs parallel to a large public works yard. Reenter Douglas-fir woods and the trail splits. The two trails parallel each other, so you can make a loop on the return. The trail to the right weaves under shady Douglas-firs. The lower trail runs under an arbor of hazel and next to the yard. The two trails converge and the final segment of the Ellen Davis Trail runs up to NE St. James Road, where you can turn around and head back the way you came.


Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • Parks open 7 a.m. to dusk
  • Restrooms open April 1st to October 31st
  • Dogs on leash

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine edited by Michael C. Houck & M.J. Cody

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.