United States

Portland, Oregon

Includes Beaverton & Hillsboro. See Also Our Guide to Vancouver, Washington -- right across the river!

Portland is the most populous city in Oregon, and 25th largest in the United States. It’s a spectacular setting, lying at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, with views of Mount St. Helens on a clear day. Portland is consistently ranked as one of the most active cities in the United States, with 300 miles of bike paths, 200 miles of running trails, 12 bridges that are accessible to pedestrians…and  Sthe headquarters for shoe Nike, adidas, and KEEN. Topgraphically, most of the downtown area is flat, but things get hilly toward the Tualatin Mountains, or “West Hills”.

There are great places to run in Portland. Downtown, the focus is on the wonderful paths along the Williamette River. Just a couple of miles from downtown, there are great residential areas for running, as well as the extensive Forest Park, Washington Park, and options around Terwillinger Blvd. Just west of Portland, do a lap around Nike’s world HQ in Beaverton and connect to additional trails there. There are also some good routes in neighboring Hillsboro, known as ‘Silicon Forest’. See also our separate running guide for Vancouver, located just across the river.

Portland also provides an efficient and widespread public transportation system, with The TriMET MAX light rail, bus lines, and the TriMET WES Commuter Rail line. Runners should note that winters can be cool and rainy. But summers are sunny and gorgeous!

Editor's Picks

Some of our favorite runs in Portland, Oregon

Forest Park

The largest urban forest in the United States. 80+ miles of soft-surface trails, fire lanes and forest... more...

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Terwilliger Boulevard

Portland, OR

2+ mile linear park is a great running option close to downtown. It's a winding road with a separate running/walking path along the boulevard, running up a wooded hillside. Popular with runners. A bonus is it's well lit at night. Hilly!


Portland’s weather is moderate. Winters are cool with quite a bit of rain and many wet days, but little snowfall. Summers are gorgeous — generally dry, around 80 during the day, and rarely too hot or humid. Temps drop off in the evening during summer more than in some other cities.



Like most cities where the downtown area centers around the waterfront, Portland has many hotels to stay near the iconic routes. The largest cluster of hotels is on the western side of the river between W. Burnside St. and SW Clay St. There are also hotels on the eastern side near the Convention Ctr./North Steel Bridge, with good access to the waterfront trails.


It is no surprise that an active community and city like Portland has many helpful independent running stores to choose from in the downtown area.

Portland Running Company – Located right in downtown Portland (corner of SE Morrisson and SE Grand). Group Runs of many distances and types every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday

Foot Traffic – There are four branches of this store: Downtown, Northeast, Southeast, and Western Portland. Boasting a handful of maps and routes around in the city on its website, Foot Traffic also hosts free group runs every night of the week, between all four locations. They also host two half marathons during the year: the aforementioned, Easter-themed Hop Hop Half and 5K, and the Holiday Half and 5K.

Road Runner Sports. Near Washington Park/Japanese Garden. Second location outside the city in Tualatin.

Fleet Feet Sports PDXDowntown, between the river and Kings Heights. Many group events. Group Running Calendar.

Red Lizard Running Club – Formed in 1992, Team Red Lizard hosts free group runs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday evenings, welcoming all non-members to run. Thursday evenings in fall and winter, the group runs the Council Crest route described above; in the summer and spring, they run the Pittock Mansion route described above.

Oregon Road Runners Club – Formed in 1970 as an outgrowth of the Trails End Marathon, the ORCC is the second oldest running club in Oregon. With over 1000 members, it is the largest running club in the west and among the top ten largest in the country.

Looking for road or trail races in this area? Find them on RaceRaves, the best online race calendar and reviews community for runners!

Find races in Portland, Oregon

Portland Marathon and Half Marathon . October. Ranked by Runner’s World as the “best people’s marathon in the west” and routinely ranked as one of the top 10 marathons in the country, the race will celebrate its 45th anniversary in October 2016. The half marathon portion of the race fills up fast, with registrations filled up by early February every year.

Brewery Running Series. Numerous fun run events throughout the year that all start and end at local breweries.

Adidas Shamrock Run. March. The largest running event in Oregon, and the second largest on the west coast, the adidas Shamrock Run offers a race for runners of any distance: 5K, 8K, 15K, half marathon, 5K walk, and a 1K for children 10 and under. Held the Sunday closest to St. Patrick’s Day, this festive race will be run for the 38th time this year and has sold out for six consecutive years.

Hood to Coast / Portland to Coast Relay. August. One of the largest relays in the world, the Hood to Coast is an overnight running event, usually held in late August, the Friday and Saturday before Labor Day. Starting at Mount Hood and consisting of 200 miles to the coast of Oregon, over 1,000 12 person teams compete. Enjoying great popularity, this event has sold out on opening day of registration for the past 18 years.

Trail Factor Half Marathon – Held on or near Memorial Day each year, the Trail Factor Half Marathon runs through the rolling trails of Forest Park in the NW section of Portland. This challenging, but scenic, course is new to the Portland area and benefits the Forest Park Conservancy.

Starlight Run. June. For 45 years, an annual summer tradition following the CareFirst Starlight Parade route that offers participants a unique opportunity to run through Portland’s illuminated streets and showcase their creativity through costumes.