Portland is a truly a runner’s paradise. Aside from the fact that it’s home to both Nike and Adidas world headquarters, it has the perfect climate, gorgeous scenery, and an abundance of trails. If you’re interested in exploring Portland on foot, lace up your shoes and check out some of these great city parks.
Bridge Loops on the Willamette
Looking to get a real taste of downtown, and really log some miles? Start at the Steel Bridge on the north side of the city. Cross the Eastbank Esplanade, then the Sellwood Bridge. This run is 11 miles, and includes excellent views of downtown, as well as the mighty Willamette River.
If you’re a trail running fanatic, the Wildwood Trail should be at the top of your “to run” list. Start in Macleay Park, wind through the Lower Macleay Trail, past the old “Witch’s Castle” and up a set of switchbacks to the exquisite Pittock Mansion.
Dogwood Loop – Forest Park
This three-mile loop in Forest Park, just 15 minutes from downtown, is one of the most picturesque places for an evening run. The path is covered by a canopy of Douglas firs and bigleaf maples, with yellow woodland violets and trilliums coming out to play in spring, and fairy bells and candy flowers popping up in the summer.
If you’re hoping to get the heart rate up with some hills, check out Mt. Tabor in Southeast Portland. Warm up on the half mile, paved reservoir loop, then head up to the summit of this inactive volcano. If you’re really eager to ride the pain train, do a few sets of stairs to burn out those glutes.
With 8 miles of running trails in 658 acres, Tryon Creek is one of our favorite urban parks. Just a couple of minutes from downtown, once you’re inside, you’ll feel like you’re thousands of miles from civilization. Enjoy towering conifers, rare trilliums, wild mushrooms, and soft soil. This park is easy on the eyes and the joints.