Although Portland is home to a large population of outdoorsy folks, Portland neighborhoods in and around the city center are not terribly accommodating when it comes to running trails. While the city offers up stellar mass transit and bike-friendly throughways, joggers may have to go off the beaten path, so to speak, if they don’t want to run on pavement.
That said, it won’t take avid trail runners long to find beautiful locales for a jog within minutes of the downtown area. If you already happen to live in Portland modern homes in certain suburbs, you can reach killer trails on foot. Those in centralized Portland lofts may have to hop in the car.
Either way, you’re never far from nature. Here are just a few Portland neighborhoods that offer residents great running trails to take advantage of.
Northwest Portland – Forest Park
It will take many city residents a few minutes of drive time to reach Forest Park, but residents will agree that there are few better places in and around the city for a scenic trail run than the Wildwood Trail, and particularly the North Wildwood section. With gentle hills, gurgling streams, tittering birds, and old-growth trees to guide you, you’ll enjoy losing yourself in nature for a while.
Mt. Tabor – Mt. Tabor Park
Those on the east side of the river don’t have to go without when it comes to spectacular running trails thanks to nearby Mt. Tabor Park. The extinct volcano at the center of the park makes for a nice backdrop, and the area offers a lush forest setting that ensures a peaceful trail run. The 1.6-mile Mt. Tabor loop is a local fave for walkers and joggers, but there are myriad trails to explore for those seeking a more robust workout.
Downtown – Willamette Waterfront
If you’re located in a Portland condo in the heart of the city and don’t have time to drive out for a jog, you’ll find that the riverfront offers a great alternative. Thanks to revitalization efforts along the Willamette River, this area has become a runner’s paradise.
You won’t get the canopy of leaves and isolation offered by many outlying trails, but you can enjoy gorgeous views of the river and the city while you run, and there are several straight shots and loops to please those who only have time for a couple of miles, as well as runners training for marathons or other long races. A good place to head out is Tom McCall Waterfront Park.