ALL THE BEST OUTDOOR WORKOUT SPOTS IN PORTLAND

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SARAH GROTHJAN

APR 15, 2019

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IMAGE VIA COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE NATIONAL SCENIC AREA – U.S. FOREST SERVICE | FACEBOOK

When you live near an outdoor playground like PDX, it makes sense that you spend as much time outside as possible. This extends to just about everything, including workouts. You won’t find too many Portlanders slaving away in gyms. Instead, you’ll find us sipping wine in a vineyard during a Vinyasa flow, riding a bike designed after a Nike shoe, or sprinting stairs up the side of a volcano. And no, we don’t find any of this weird.

Need a break from your eight-hour grind? Stretch your legs on Portland’s 15-hole disc golf course in Southwest Portland. This green space sits on 22 acres and is the perfect excuse to escape into the midday sun. The course is open year-round from 7am to 10pm and is free to the public. Just bring your own discs.

Walk a few miles into Portland’s Forest Park and you’ll likely forget you’re still in the city. After all, it’s easy to lose sight of city life when roaming among the 5,200 acres of green space (which, by the way, makes this one of the largest urban forests in the US). With more than 80 miles of trails and forest roads, you’ll get lost before you ever get bored.

Forest Park is great for a quick dose of nature, but sometimes you want more of a challenge. Luckily, Portland sits fewer than 30 miles from the Columbia River Gorge, which boasts a whopping 90 waterfalls, beautiful vistas and, yes, some seriously challenging hikes. Dog Mountain, Angel’s Rest, Munra Point, and Eagle Creek are among our Gorge favorites. Fitt Tip: Check trail conditions. Many trailheads are temporarily closed due to a 2017 fire.

Sprint the park steps, jog the paved trails, or knock out some burpees in the sprawling green space — all before relaxing by the park’s picturesque lake. Northeast Portland’s Laurelhurst Park really is a perfect spot for an outdoor workout. Afterward, we recommend a post-workout beer (it’s a thing) at nearby Coalition Brewing. We really dig the Two Flowers IPA, infused with CBD. A “very Portland” way to unwind.

This hike is the cure for anyone who likes to hit snooze in the morning. Lace up your hiking boots, grab your morning coffee, and set out on this five-mile hike that climbs 900 feet toward the Pittock Mansion parking lot. Cross the lot and walk toward the mansion’s east lawn, where you’ll be greeted with stunning views of the city and Mount Hood. If you’re there early enough, you’ll also catch the sunrise. We can’t think of a better reason to get out of bed.

Yoga, boot camp, conditioning classes — all of it outside. Portland Outdoor Fitness hosts year-round, small-group classes at Alberta Park aimed at helping people combine their two loves: healthy living and the outdoors. And if it’s raining? Luckily, the outdoor workout space has a cover (but you could also just consider the rain a free shower).

Why not start your morning with a set of sweaty stair sprints up a volcano? That’s right. Mount Tabor in Southeast Portland is a volcanic cinder cone — albeit an extinct one. Still, we imagine running from lava would help us do faster sprints. Oh well!

Enjoy views of the Willamette with a walk, run, or bike ride along the Eastbank Esplanade in Southeast Portland. The esplanade extends for 1.5 miles from the Hawthorne Bridge to the Steel Bridge. Take a seat on a bench and enjoy views of historic Morrison and Burnside bridges in the distance (and the occasional nearby fisherman). Afterward, we recommend heading over to Water Avenue Coffee for a slice of generous avocado toast.

Casual and serious runners alike can appreciate this track at Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton. The five-lane track is fringed by a lush forest of western conifers and has been used by runners like Galen Rupp and Mary Cain. Go ahead — channel your inner track star (just make sure you’re wearing Nike).

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