PDX Runs: Reed College Trails
Thank you, Reed College, for providing public access to two gems tucked into inner SE Portland. On the north side of campus are two distinct off-pavement opportunities: a short looping trail through Crystal Springs canyon, and a nearby gravel path about one quarter mile in length that encircles the soccer field.
Crystal Springs emerges from the bluff below SE 39th Avenue and forms a small lake surrounded by woods. It has been a nature refuge since 1913 and is the oldest natural lake in Portland.
A level trail takes a quiet meander around the lake before it branches into short segments on both sides of the canyon below. Wildlife abounds in the canyon, and this 28-acre patch of nature provides field study for Reed students. A recent trip revealed evidence of beaver activity.
The entire length of the trail is less than two miles, and it can serve as a nice warm-up before heading over to the gravel path for more intense efforts.
The gravel path is located on a grassy hillside, with short, flatter sections connecting longer uphill/downhill sections. The topography and surface provide ready-made, “just-add-runner” opportunities for intervals/speed work or easy recovery jogs.
Some locals call this the college’s track. It has amazing views of Portland's west hills at sunset.
Directions: The gravel path and canyon trail are most easily accessed anywhere along SE Steele Street, between SE 30th and 33rd Avenues, with plenty of on-street parking. For more information on the canyon and Reed Lake, visit this section of Reed’s website.