Run Oregon Routes: Spring Valley State Park

We have recently received a lot of feedback regarding a recent run we posted on InstagramSpring Valley State Park in West Salem. Running here is a great experience. The park is situated in the heart of the lush Willamette Valley and offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. The park is surrounded by towering Douglas firs, lush greenery, and is nestled along the banks of the mighty Willamette – all providing a picturesque backdrop for runners.

This park has three main loops – all of which total right around 3.4 miles. The trails in Spring Valley State Park are all well-maintained (thanks to the Salem Area Trail Alliance) and offer a variety of terrains, from flat and easy to some short hills. Strangely enough, each of the loops almost seems to have its own distinct trail features.

The Perimeter and TCC Trails (~1.6 miles) circumnavigates some grassland and also some flat dirt singletrack underneath, respectively.

The Upper Spring Valley Trail (.7 miles) also features singletrack with a little gravel section and a short climb and downhill.

The Rook Trail and Generator Trail (1.2 miles) adds on a little bit more climbing, some short rocky sections, and some rolling dirt trails (as well as a tiny bit on pavement to connect the two).

All of the loops essentially start and end at the small parking lot, so you can tackle any of them and be no more than a mile from your car. Altogether, it makes it perfect for runners of all levels, whether you are a seasoned trail runner or a casual jogger looking for a scenic stroll. As you run, you will be surrounded by nature and have the opportunity to take in stunning views of the park – forgetting you are mere minutes away from Oregon’s capitol city.

There is chance you may run into some gentle wildlife, as I have seen deer grazing in the meadows and caught a glimpse of a majestic eagle soaring above. The park is also home to a diverse array of bird species, and their melodious chirping will provide a soothing soundtrack for your run.

Spring Valley State Park is also quiet in the off season (though can become a tiny more busy in the summer). I recently ran all the loops twice and ran into exactly 0 people along the way. Overall, running in Spring Valley State Park is a memorable experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and invigorated. The park’s natural beauty and serene atmosphere provide the perfect escape from the stresses of everyday life, and the trails offer a challenging and rewarding workout for runners of all levels.

Depending on the day/time of your run, check out any number of great wineries less than 10 minutes away from the park. We recommend Bjornson or Bryn Mawr for their outdoor seating and less casual tastings. At both of these locations you can show up as a runner and not feel like staff is judging your disheveled hair and red face (though be respectful!).

About Author

We started the Run Oregon blog in February 2007, because felt like running in Oregon and SW Washington deserved more positive coverage. We also wanted to level the playing field so that small, non-profit races could compete with big events; and to support local race organizers.

%d bloggers like this: