Bunchgrasser’s World

My unique filter on life

8 Mile Trail Run in Forest Park

Posted by bunchgrasser on June 23, 2009

You know, 8 miles goes by much quicker when running through a serene forest on a trail. Yeah, should be obvious I know. Yet day after day I slip on my Kayanos and run the paved streets, forgoing that wonderful zen-like experience. Why is that? Bad habit I suppose…

Well, this past Saturday I got in my car and drove 10 minutes to the Springville Road Trail Head and proceeded to change that bad habit with a nice 8 miler through Forest Park on Leif Erikson Drive. It had recently rained, so there were some muddy spots, but not so bad that I couldn’t jump over or avoid those spots. In general Leif Erikson Drive (LED) is rocky enough that there aren’t many true mudholes.

I started with a 10 minute downhill fast-walk on the Springville trail from the trailhead to where it joins LED. It drops about 450 feet in elevation over 3/4 mile so it makes for a great downhill warmup. It’s also a killer workout when you are walking (or Mt Biking) back up that hill.

I started my run on LED heading East/Southeast toward NW Portland where LED terminates roughly 10 miles away on NW Thurman Street. In its entirety, LED is about 11 miles long and makes for a wonderful bike ride as well as a long run. Incidently, one of my favorite brewpubs is located in NW Portland, not far from where the trail ends – but I digress…

One of the nice things about running LED is that every 1/4 mile there are labeled white concrete posts sunk into the ground, allowing you to track your mileage. No GPS watch or pedometer needed – just find your pace and enjoy the sounds of the forest. The sounds of birds chirping certainly beats  the sounds of cars any day of the week.

Around mile 3, I was passed by a group of young runners. I asked one of them and was told they were part of the Westview High School cross country team. Apparently they do their long run each weekend and today chose to run LED. I made my turn at mile 4 and headed back to Springville trail. It went quickly, but my legs were kind of sore by the time I finished mile 8. I still had the uphill walk to the trailhead, but it was a nice cool-down.

All in all a very enjoyable run and I’m planning to do another shorter run there tonight with my wife. Since I’m always training for the next big race – I may try running the full length (11 miles) and have someone pick me up on the other end (after a pint of beer of course).


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