Running Routes in Portland, OR

We lived in Portland from December 31 to March 31. There’s a large running community there and the area is so runner friendly. It really is as rainy as people say, and while living there I learned how to make running in the rain easier. We lived in the northeast in the Irvington District. There’s running paths on the other side of the Willamette, but I actually never used them. There’s also the Tilikum Crossing Bridge that’s only for runners, cyclists and buses, unfortunately I found out about the bridge right before leaving and never got to run on that either.

Crossing the Willamette via Broadway Bridge
A view from Pittock Mansion
Another view from Pittock

As far as the west side of Portland goes, I ran to Pittock Mansion once-a crazy steep hill that last over a mile! I definitely walked parts. Once you get up to the top the view is amazing though! I also ran to the Witches Castle which was really cool-not the ‘castle’ so much, but the trail itself. That run started with pavement, but once you hit the trail obviously it’s dirt. I wasn’t wearing trail shoes and the way down made me nervous because it was slippery. Luckily I didn’t fall.

Witches Castle
Lower Macleay Trail which you take to get to Witches Castle

On the east side I would often run down streets such as Knott, 33rd, Prescott, and Cesar E. Chavez. For long runs I would run south on Cesar E. Chavez till I came to the end of it. From there I ran onto the Springwater Corridor Trail which is 21 miles long! It’s not the most scenic, but you’re mostly away from roads and there’s bathrooms. I would bring mace with me, sometimes there were homeless people hanging out.

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A picture I took accidentally while on the Springwater Corridor Path
Knott Street on a cloudy day
Knott Street on a sunny day

I also ran to the Marine Drive bike path which is along the Columbia River. Running west was great-amazing views! The way back however was incredibly windy! So much so that I never ended up running that route again. Had we lived there longer I would have tried it again in the spring/summer.

A hawk flying by Marine Drive Path
Marine Drive-Washingtion is on the other side of the Columbia River

Also, there’s a street called Alameda Ridge which has some cool views of the city. Another thing I loved about running in Portland (especially on the Northeast side) was seeing all the cool houses! They were cottage like-some bigger than others-and the moss everywhere made it feel very fairytale like. There’s also Mt Tabor Park that has views of the city (when it’s not foggy) and has paths that are paved and trail.

Mt Tabor on a foggy morning

The weather in Portland could get a bit chilly, and it was overcast a lot. It also snowed a few days and they don’t clear the sidewalks or salt the roads so I would either hold off on running till later in the day when it melted or I would just use the treadmill. It also was pretty rainy, and I bought a Gore-Tex hat which worked well, along with a water proof windbreaker.

A food side note-so many amazing bagel shops in Portland!


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