PDX Runs: Peninsula Park
Portland’s wonderful and varied parks help make this a great place to live.
Peninsula Park at 700 N. Rosa Parks Way is one of the city’s best neighborhood parks, and rightly popular with runners and walkers.
At just about any time of day you won’t be alone exercising on the park’s pancake-flat, stroller-friendly paths.
A loop around the rose garden at the park’s south end measures just over .3 miles. That surface is nicely groomed pea gravel.
The other popular circuit in the park incorporates three sides of the rose garden and an arch-shaped concrete path to-and-from the community center at the park’s north end. This larger loop measures an easy-to-sum half mile.
The original brick- and stonework and the lantern-style streetlights in Peninsula Park survive from a major push to beautify Portland in the early 20th century.
Portland purchased the land for Peninsula Park in 1909 from a businesswoman named Liverpool Liz. The plot had a lot of amenities before it was a public park: a horse track, a campground, and a roadhouse.
Present-day Peninsula Park covers 16 acres. Its south end is Portland’s first public rose garden. The gushing fountain in the middle of the garden is original. The band shell on its rim is historic and designated as such.
The tidy Italianate building at the park’s north end is the city’s oldest community center. The playground on its doorstep is second oldest in town. The swimming pool in back is lovely.
Given its age, Peninsula Park is of course shaded by grand old trees. A couple of emerald ball fields are at its heart. Peninsula Park is popular for weddings and engagement photos, as you’ve guessed by now.
Amenities of interest to runners include bathrooms and snacks available in the community center and a drinking fountain by the planter out front of the building.