We have recently received a lot of feedback regarding a recent run we posted on Instagram – the Trappist Abbey Guadalupe Loop in Newberg. This is truly an unforgettable running experience that showcases the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, so we thought we would provide a little info.
This loop is a ~3.5-mile trail that winds through the lush forest and rolling hills of the Willamette Valley. The trail starts at the Trappist Abbey, a peaceful and serene monastery nestled in the foothills of the Chehalem Mountains.
Those who live there are devoted to a life of contemplative prayer, manual labor, spiritual study and hospitality. Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey began in April 1948 at Pecos in New Mexico before moving to the Willamette Valley in 1955.
The loop takes you through the Abbey’s property, where you may catch a glimpse of the monks going about their daily lives. If you are worried about disturbing the daily life of those at the Abbey, I wouldn’t worry too much. There are signs to the hiking trail and a parking lot area specifically for it (and a website!).
They even have a list of guidelines – all of which are pretty self-explanatory:
- No Dogs Allowed
- Open Hours are from Dawn to Dusk
- Stay on Marked Trails
- Bicycles, horses, motorized vehicles are not allowed
- Hunting and Fishing are not allowed
- No smoking, alcohol, campfires or firearms at any time
- Please respect wildlife and other visitors
- Please pick up all garbage
- Persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
- Trappist Abbey Forest may be closed during severe weather conditions and forest management operations. Closures will be posted at their website.
As you begin the run, you are immediately immersed in the sights and sounds of nature. The trail is surrounded by towering Douglas Firs, Oregon White Oaks, and lush ferns that create a serene and peaceful environment.
The path is very moderate in technicality, though there are some obvious inclines along the way. But both the shorter overall distance combined with just a moderate elevation gain make it a manageable run for all skill levels – even if there are spots you may need to walk.
It is a looped trail, so you can go either direction. If you head clockwise, you will get a more significant uphill climb followed by a gradual downhill after summiting. The opposite is true of a counter clockwise loop – gradual uphill and a more speed-inducing downhill.
We recently went (February) and some of the trails were pretty muddy. We imagine that some consistent dry weather will make these trails even more amazing and inviting. We’d recommend a summer trip – though its definitely quiet and enjoyable if you are a mud-hound.
One of the highlights of the Trappist Abbey Guadalupe Loop is the stunning views of the Willamette Valley from the top of the ridge. The views are breathtaking and there were a few spots we stopped and took a gander. It is well worth the effort to reach the top of the hill and complete the entire route.
We also recommend the little .12 mile offshoot in purple at the top right of the map above. On a clear day (and even on some cloudier ones – see below) you have a prime view of Mt. Hood in the distance and Knudsen Vineyards in the foreground.
The entire run is a serene and meditative experience that leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. There is even the ability to stop and be at one with the serenity around you, memories of lost loved ones, or just be in tune with yourself.
The Trappist Abbey Guadalupe Loop is a hidden gem that provides an unforgettable experience that combines the beauty of nature with a peaceful and serene environment. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or a beginner, the loop is a manageable run that allows you to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The views, the vineyards, and the tranquility of the abbey all make for a unique and memorable running experience.
Depending on the day/time of your run, check out Abbey Road Farm Winery or Crowing Hen Farmhouse Brewery afterwards. Both a stones throw from the trailhead. But whatever you do – don’t miss out on this.