PORTLAND, Ore. -- An illegal bike path along a popular hiking trail between Forest Park and Washington Park has hikers upset, with near misses between docile people on foot and speeding mountain bikers emerging out of nowhere.

Along the popular Wildwood Trail - near Washington Park's archery range - is where hikers noticed the illegal bike path.

Nearby, there's a sign that clearly reminds the public that bicycles are forbidden in the woods.

A guy just about ran us over, you know, ten feet in front of us. Shoop! said hiker Nicholas Hilbers.

The kid ... said 'it's a vertical descent,' you know, like he's skiing or something like. They got places for this.

Already this year, there have been elaborate trail discoveries in Forest Park and Madrona Park in North Portland.

Those who legally use the Wildwood Trail want the City of Portland to take swift action against those who don't.

Tire tracks clearly show cyclists are using the illegal trail in a protected portion of the park, not far from a sign that forbids such behavior.

The Leif Erickson Trail in Forest Park is where bikes are allowed but it's crowded there.

Probably, that's why they come here because it's convenient, said Wildwood hiker Wendy Christensen.

She and other hikers are sickened by the damage.

I think it's just appalling, said Jim McAllister. He wonders what the city can do to police the area since the rogue cyclists come at odd hours and there's so much ground to cover.

Public awareness is probably the best way to go on that, he said.

Hilbers has already contacted the Portland Parks Bureau about his discovery. He hopes swift response from authorities will help protect this much-loved and much-used trail.

Just recently, a heavily divided citizen committee forwarded a dozen ideas to Parks Commissioner Nick Fish on how to improve the mix of hikers and bikers in Forest Park.

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