PDX Runs: Columbia Park
Columbia Park in N. Portland is a charming old (1891) park notable for its tall trees, grassy picnic areas, cottage, and indoor pool.
Columbia Park is a great place to run with a stroller or a kid alongside on a bike, as you can completely escape traffic. Kids will be excited to know that they are playing in a park over an active train tunnel (which makes the ground shake every so often).
This park boasts a paved loop of .6 miles that is mostly smooth and almost completely shaded by the glorious tall trees, except for a short section near the pool entrance. I like to vary the loop a little bit by throwing in some sidewalk sections along the park’s north and west sides, which brings the total length of a loop to about .7 miles.
It’s not uncommon to spot a University of Portland runner or two working out in the park; they mostly stick to the grass and dirt, as I like to do sometimes.
At any given time there are as many as three bathrooms available in the park: the pool, the cottage, and next to the playground. During the winter, the pool bathroom is often the only one open.
Columbia Park is located at the intersection of N. Lombard St. and N. Woolsey Ave. in the Portsmouth neighborhood.
Here's a pro tip for you: Across Lombard Street in the Columbia Park Annex you'll find a dirt "track" of about 400m worn in the grass.