Sure Wildwood is the favorite trail in Forest Park. It’s marked with mile markers and you can’t get lost if you do a simple out and back. For runners looking for serious climbing, it’s not ideal. So many years ago, several routes in the North section of Forest Park utilizing the fire lanes and connecting roads were created and given them a Nasty moniker.
The North Nasty is the most popular of these Nasties, starting and ending at the Leif Erickson/Germantown Rd. parking lot. About a year ago, Jordan Carey and Travis Liles came up with a new Nasty starting at Skyline Tavern. “We did it there because cars kept getting broken into on Germantown.” according to Liles, whose blog and podcast can be found at lilestrials.com. “Scotty (Skyline Tavern owner and trail runner) gave us the go-ahead to park there so we did and just did it for countless Wednesdays on end.” Carey and Liles decided to call it the Skyline Nasty. Another benefit to the Skyline Nasty is that, unlike the other Nasties, it is almost completely on trails. It has quickly become one of the favorite routes in Forest Park. You’ll see cars parked at Skyline Tavern almost every Saturday morning.
The Skyline Nasty route is 10.65 miles with about 2,500 feet of elevation gain. If you are looking for a shorter route but still want to run from the Tavern, try the 5.35-mile route with 585 feet of ascent. Check out the video of the run we did with runners on both versions on the NWDC YouTube channel
Turn by turn directions for the Skyline Nasty:
Cross the Skyline Road to the gate. In about 50 yards, turn right down the Waterline Trail.
In .3 miles, turn left on Wildwood Trail. You’ll see the 24-mile blue diamond marker. Remember that on your way back.
In .6 miles, turn right down the Cannon trail. It’s easy to miss. If you pass it and end up at the Germantown parking lot, don’t fret. The Cannon trail also has a trailhead there.
In .3 miles, you’ll reach the parking lot for Leif Erickson trail. Cross Germantown Rd. to Fire Lane 9. Continue on Fire Lane 9 for a steep downhill.
In .6 miles the trail ends at a fork. Turn right. This is MacKay Ave, but it’s really a trail. Wilark Street fast approaches. Turn left on Wilark until the dead end where stairs are on the right. Head down the stairs to the path on HWY 30. Take the path for a block to the Linnton trail parking lot.
Turn left up the Linnton trail. This is the first of the two large climbs. Linnton is a half mile rooty trail that eventually meets Fire Lane 10.
Continue uphill on Fire Lane 10 for about a mile. You will cross the Wildwood Trail and Fire Lane 10 runs into the Newton Road parking lot. Continue through the parking lot past the Newton Road gate.
Continue on Newton Road for a steep descent for almost two miles. You will pass the Wildwood trail again and eventually end at BPA Road near HWY 30.
Turn left up BPA Road for a 1.6-mile steep climb. Due to the power lines, on clear days, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Ranier, as well as Sauvie Island and the industrial area of the Columbia River, will come into view. Continue past Fire Lane 13 and 12 for about a mile and you will reach Wildwood trail.
Turn left on Wildwood. This is near the 27.5-mile mark on Wildwood. Continue on Wildwood past several trails and Germantown Road to the 24-mile marker. This is the Waterline Trail.
Turn right at Waterline trail for the last climb to the gate. Congrats, you’ve completed the Skyline Nasty!
Skyline Tavern opens at Noon, so stop in after the run for a cold beverage and a panini. Stick around for nightly live music.