Running Routes and Places to Exercise

Contributed by: Theresa Rea, Archivist at the Oregon State Archives located in Salem. In her free time, you are bound to find Theresa out and about exploring all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.


A group of runners on a trail in Forest Park. Courtesy of Travel Portland

From the roll hills to nearly one hundred miles of verdant trails, the Rose City is filled with appealing places to run. Whether you are running for fun, fitness, or training for your next race, there are plenty of options for routes, organized group meet-ups, and fun runs! The majority of the regular group runs are organized by local running stores. The best part is that they are free, although the option for post run libations is also a perk!


The Portland Running Company organizes free weekly group fun runs for all skill levels. Conveniently located near the Oregon Convention Center on the corner of SE Morrison and SE Grand, they offer giveaways, opportunities to test new gear and more. The schedule for both group runs and running routes around Portland are available on the Portland Running Company website or Facebook page.


Foot Traffic’s downtown location is three blocks away from the Hilton at 333 SW Taylor Street. They offer group outings for both runners and walkers. 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.  Groups explore 3, 5 and 7-mile routes around the waterfront or downtown. The evenings often include demo opportunities and post-run refreshments back at the store.

Team Red Lizard also hosts free group runs every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, welcoming all non-members to run.

If group runs aren’t your thing, schedules don’t sync, or you would just prefer to venture out on your own, Great Runs in Portland Oregon provides countless options for road and trail routes all over Portland, as does the afore mentioned Portland Running Company.

If you are looking for something close to the DoubleTree, here is a 4-mile route starting right outside the front door.

The City of Portland Bureau of Transportation website also has fantastic maps for any part of the city you may be interested in exploring on foot, bicycle or other form of transportation.

Running Alternatives


Fitness in the Park

If you are looking for other exercise options besides pounding the pavement, check out the Travel Portland website. There are some great suggestions for other workouts, such as spin, CrossFit, Pilates, and yoga.

There are also free exercise classes around Portland too. Portland Parks and Recreation hosts free fitness classes throughout the summer. Fitt Nation website also provides excellent suggestions for free classes.

Although both the DoubleTree and Hilton hotels offer fitness centers, pools, and other exercise amenities, I highly recommend you get outside and discover the beautiful visages that the Rose City has to offer.



2 thoughts on “Running Routes and Places to Exercise

  1. Nicole Casper says:

    Thank you so much for this. As a runner in training for a 1/2 marathon on Labor Day weekend, the 4 mi is perfect for the days I will be in Portland.


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