PDX Runs: Hockinson Meadows
A frequent question we get from runners in our groups is this: Do you know of any good parks or trails where I can run a workout? The implication there is: flat, uncrowded trails without many sharp turns, and preferably some segments that are miles, k's, or half-miles—you get the picture.
This runner stumbled on Hockinson Meadows Community Park in east Clark County sort of by accident and discovered that it fits the above description, to a T.
Hockinson Meadows park is 240 acres large, and only 70 acres are developed. That developed portion includes this loop that is a perfect mile, some on flat pea gravel and some on pavement. But wait, there's more. A gravel trail leads out of the park and then turns north, running parallel to NE 172nd Avenue on the east edge of the park. The distance from the park gate to the end of this trail at 119th Street is—drumroll—exactly half a mile!
The park itself is a gem. It's a mix of open grassland and sylvan charm. The amenities include two parking lots, a playground, a 2.5-acre fenced dog run, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, picnic tables, and yes, bathrooms. I didn't see a drinking fountain on my first two visits, but I wasn't looking for one.
How to get there: From Portland, take I-5 north to Vancouver and take exit 2 for WA-500 E. Stay on WA-500 for about 5 miles, then turn right onto NE Fourth Plain Blvd. following the signs to Camas. About a mile and a half later, turn left onto NE Ward Road. Take Ward for two miles, then turn left again, this time onto NE 172nd Avenue. The park will be on your left side shortly.
An alternative route is to take WA-14 east and go north on NE 164th Avenue. Stay on 164th a long time (it becomes NE 162nd at some point) until you hit Ward Road. Turn right on Ward, then left on NE 172nd.
Text and photos by Ryan Heal. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.