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Looking for quiet? Check out this short trail system in Polk County

Even though most of the state is starting to reopen, we here at Run Oregon believe things should be done planfully and thoughtfully. Running has always been an “allowable” activity outside, so long as distancing was taken into account. We thought we would highlight a few areas/routes that we have found to be less crowded and wanted to pass those along to our readers!

A new place I just discovered is a series of multiple trail loops just off the Salem-Dayton Highway just north of West Salem. The Willamette Greenway has a few spots for short trail running in Polk County, but this past week was my first time exploring the Spring Valley area. There is a small parking lot off the main road and near the river, which plays host to the centralized point where most all of the short loops convene.

I recommend starting off and doing a CCW loop of the Perimeter Trail, which runs alongside the outskirts of a small field.

Take the TCC Trail to get in some real trail running – but nothing very strenuous.

This .5 mile trail will spit you back out on the Perimeter Trail and you can finish circumnavigating the field for about a 1.1 mile loop.

Then follow the Upper Spring Valley Trail in a clockwise direction. You will do a very short climb at the beginning and then head downhill over the next .7-ish miles back to the parking area.

Head back on the road you drove in on and take on the Rook Trail – a .8 mile trail that offers some great forest runs.

Finally, the .4 mile Generator Trail is just a fun and short section that is essentially all downhill.

The Salem Area Trail Alliance does a FANTASTIC job on these trails and it was an absolute pleasure to run on them.

Obviously, any of the trails can be ran in either direction (aside from the Generator) and independently of each other. I created Strava segments below that showcase different routes of each – and of the full amount.

Afterwards, consider safely stopping into any number of wineries in the Eola Hills – there are tons! Make sure to check their social media for opening updates


About Matt Rasmussen (1500 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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