If you are planning to check Portland, Oregon off your running bucket-list you are in luck! Portland offers beautiful, convenient access to running, it happens to be a foodie’s paradise, and there is always a fun race to jump in while you are in town! Portland offers the perfect combination of scenic trails and culturally intriguing city running!
Don't take our word for it, learn from our awesome ambassador Katie as she shares the BEST OF EVERYTHING when it comes to Portland, Oregon.
Best Places to Run
Downtown convenience with views of the city! Just blocks from the main shopping, dining, and cultural center of the city is the Willamette River Waterfront. The Willamette flows right through Portland separating the East side from the West and it boasts great paved running paths that offer miles and miles of beautiful views. Start your run down by the Saturday Market and run across the Tilikum Crossing pedestrian bridge to the east side. From there you will catch the iconic Portland scenes including the Portland, Oregon white stag sign. Parking is simple in this area and access to the paved path all around the waterfront couldn’t be easier. Look for street parking or there are many convenient lots just a few steps from the waterfront. This area is all flat and it is a perfect place to spot Nike’s elite team, the Bowerman Babes and Dudes, on their weekend training runs.
Head for the Hills-without even leaving the city! Experience America's Premier Urban Forest, Forest Park. At 5,200 acres, Forest Park is one of the largest urban forests in the United States and it is right in the city of Portland! With more than 80 miles of trails, fire lanes and forest roads, Forest Park is an ideal place to get your trail running on without leaving the city limits. This urban forest offers an unparalleled opportunity for visiting runners to experience a true Northwest forest with all of the ease of being in the city itself. There is parking all around the outside of the park and a couple of the most popular trails are Leif Erikson and Wildwood. Throughout the park you will find maps letting you know where you are and the clearly marked trails make it easy for visiting runners to go spend an hour or two in the beauty of nature without worrying about getting lost.
Best Running Store
Local Running Experts who do more than fit your running shoes! Paula and Dave Harkin, local Portlanders, own and operate 2 running stores, called Portland Running Company. Not only are they speedy runners themselves, they are knowledgeable about running gear, they get out weekly and run with their run club, put on numerous races in the city, and give back to the community. Portland Running Company has weekly group runs every day of the week and often have demo runs where you can try running shoes, safety lights, hear from professionals, and get entered to win great prizes. Any questions about running in Portland? Need someone to run with? Pop into PRC and you can get all of your questions answered!
Favorite Post-Run Food Spot
Re-fuel with delicious Oregon Craft Beer and locally sourced, fresh food at Breakside! Breakside Brewery is conveniently located a short walk or run from the waterfront and Forest Park. It offers outdoor seating on the patio as well as 2 stories of tables inside. The food is out of this world and honestly the beer is some of the very best Oregon has to offer when it comes to craft beer. Check out the local Oregon art on the walls.
Coffee and a Quick Bite before tackling the rest of your day! Between squeezing a run in on vacation or between soccer practice and ballet, we all know that what we really have time for after a long Saturday run is a bagel and coffee. Portland has so many amazing coffee shops and delicious spots for brunch, but my favorite is in the burbs! Insomnia Coffee. Insomnia is a locally owned roaster who offers a variety of delicious coffees, teas, pastries, live music and open mic nights! Come on out to a run on the Rock Creek Trail and re-fuel with coffee and a scone at Insomnia after.
Portland is the perfect city for the outdoor enthusiast as there are lots of convenient options to escape into nature while still enjoying the cultural, employment, and entertainment opportunities that cities have to offer.
Next time you're in Portland, check out some of these spots and let me know what you think in the comments below!