About 30 minutes from Portland, Graham Oaks is a 250-acre nature area that boasts several unpaved trails and a wide, paved path that will eventually connect Sherwood, Tualatin, and Wilsonville as part of a regional parkway.
The main entrance off SW Wilsonville Road has parking spots, single-stall bathrooms, and water.
Start from there on the Gateway Trail and connect to the Tonquin Trail, a flat, paved path big enough for a double stroller and single stroller to be pushed next to each other at the same time.
Continue on the Tonquin Trail for about a mile before you exit the official park. You'll still be on the Tonquin Trail as you venture into neighborhoods and smaller parks in Wilsonville. There is ample signage outside the park to keep you on the right route and get you back to Graham Oaks.
If you’re not pushing a stroller, there are some smaller gravel/unpaved paths within Graham Oaks that add up to three miles of trails, but you’ll have to repeat some stretches. Check out a map of the park before you go, because the only navigational aids on site are little pictures on signposts.
For a longer run, you’ll probably want to do a combination of running in the neighborhoods and running through Graham Oaks.
Dogs on leash are allowed on the Tonquin Trail because it is a (planned) regional throughway, but not on the side trails.
Consider this run for a flat alternative to Mt. Tabor. Like Tabor, it is used by many but doesn't feel crowded. And while there aren’t many miles of trails at Graham Oaks, there is a good mix of scenery and surfaces.
The wildflower fields off the main trail and the tree-lined side paths create a feeling that you are far from the city.
You’ll like running in Graham Oaks Nature Park for its...
- wide, paved path (and a few gravel trails sprouting off);
- easy parking and clean restrooms;
- openness. (Bring sunscreen!)
From Portland, drive south on I-5 to exit 283. Use the right two lanes of the exit to turn right on SW Wilsonville Road. The park will be on your right in 1.4 miles.
Julie Baker is a former collegiate swimmer who runs for the Portland Running Company Race Team. She lives in Portland with her husband and two small children. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.