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PDX Runs: Pier Park

Pier Park Portland


With its rolling hills and soft-surface trails lined with evergreen trees, Pier Park is a versatile training spot for any kind of workout, whether you’re doing an easy run or more speed-oriented work.

Pier Park sits at the apex of Columbia Boulevard and Lombard Street in north Portland’s St. Johns neighborhood.

The park boasts more than just delightful trails. Its 87 shady acres are home to a baseball field, basketball court, soccer field, tennis court, outdoor pool, picnic area, playground, skate park, and disc golf course. Watch out for those flying Frisbees!

Pier Park also hosts cross-country meets annually, including an all-comers meet that is often the Oregon state championship.

Park along North James Street and hop directly on the trail. The park’s perimeter runs a little over one mile (no pun intended). Paved and unpaved trails cut through the park if you want to feel like you’re really romping through the woods. For speed and power work, there’s a nice hill along the backstretch going (somewhat) parallel to Columbia Blvd.

There is a bridge connecting Pier Park to Chimney Park on the other side of the train tracks. Just know that Chimney Park is almost entirely an off-leash dog park.

Post run, check out Proper Eats in downtown St. Johns for a delicious yet healthy meal (my favorite Portland restaurant and also a favorite of longtime University of Portland running coach Rob Conner). 

To access Proper Eats and many other tasty options, from the Pier Park pool, head right on St. Johns Avenue and take a left on Lombard to head into downtown St. Johns.

-Will Baker-Robinson