As runners, we’ve heard all the jokes before, so much so that we’re often not even fazed by the references to the hit movie, Forest Gump. Some runners are even offended, especially when the catcalls come from passing motorists.
The “Run Forest run” comments, though, never really bothered me. And those words took on a whole different meaning during my trip to Portland, Ore., this past week.
In Oregon, you can literally run through the forest. And in Portland, there actually is a Forest Park, one of the most inspiring and beautiful places I’ve ever laced up my shoes and gone for a run.
The pictures below don’t really do the place justice, perhaps because I’m an amateur photographer who was taking pictures on the run – in the rain. A huge thanks goes out to Lisa, an employee at the Portland Running Co., for giving me directions to the park. Before leaving for Oregon, I had done some research on the park, but she sold me on the idea of running there and gave some great directions for getting there.
The trails – more than 30 miles of dirt switchbacks in the west hills of Portland – are lined with the lush green foliage and massive trees one would expect to find in Oregon. The purified air, intoxicating and moist, filled my lungs, making each stride feel light and effortless. The last of my runs in Oregon, my trip through Forest Park was rejuvenating despite starting out on tired legs. The experience was nearly surreal, and I felt I could run for miles and miles. For any runner who shows up in Portland, this is a must-do trail.