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Running Trails in McMinnville by Jennifer Nice

Dec 13, 2013

Everyone knows how walkable McMinnville’s charming downtown core is. But for the joggers and runners out there, you can find some terrific routes and/or trails. McMinnville’s mild weather and safe streets make this a running-friendly town. Check out the list below for runs known and loved by locals.

  1. Joe Dancer Park - Accessible on foot from downtown, these cushy bark-covered paths meander through woods above the Yamhill River, then run parallel to the community baseball and soccer fields. Stay on the path and skirt along the east edge of the field to the wetlands and finish up in the parking lot. You can head south and return to downtown or turn north and head out Riverside drive for an extended route.
  2. Hewlett Packard Wellness Trail - Located on the Linfield College Campus, this 1 1/2 mile loop traverses around a swathy field. Half the loop is treed and the other half is open. People do like to walk their dogs on this trail. The Linfield library parking lot is a good starting (and ending place.)
  3. Miller Woods - To really commune with nature, head out to the country. These timbered, yet well-groomed hiking trails are part of a nature conservation area a few miles out of town on Baker Creek Road. You have a choice between 3 different loops that crisscross over 130 acres of diverse terrain and habitats.
  4. Airport Park - Choose from a 1 mile or 1/2 mile loop for a nature run just outside of town on Highway 18. Two bridges span a murky stream and lots of deciduous trees distinguish this park brilliantly throughout the seasons.
  5. Evergreen campus - A paved trail circumnavigates the aviation museum and waterpark then snakes through the lush vineyards. The beauty of this loop is that it’s level and seldom used.
  6. Willamette Valley Medical Center - Check out the walking/jogging track on the south end of the building. It’s a regulation 400 meter track (4 laps=1 mile) and its custom, cushiony surface is easy on the knees and joints. Plus, there are no pets/bikes/skateboards/roller blades allowed, so you’ll only encounter purists.
  7. Rotary Nature Preserve - This forested loop with several tangent trails encircles a quiet pond. Get ready to see lots of critters - ducks, chubby squirrels, even deer. Even though it’s located right in town, it’s a very tranquil place to run.

If trail running isn’t your thing, don’t despair. McMinnville boasts plenty of running routes in town. 

  1. Neighborhoods - With our low crime rate and lack of traffic, most any neighborhood is great for a run. You’ll find stately, turn-of-the-century homes in downtown neighborhoods on the east side and sprawling mid-century ranches on the west side near Michelbook Country Club. Go on and explore - if you get a little lost, that’s part of the adventure. Plus, you’ll undoubtedly meet a friendly local willing to give you directions!
  2. East-West Greenway - This smooth, paved path runs parallel to West 2nd Street. Begin on Westvale Street and run for about a mile to the end, then retrace your steps for an out-and-back route. Lots of green, mowed grass lines McMinnville’s original walking path.
  3. North-South Greenway - Completed in 2011, this extra-wide greenway begins on Baker Creek Road and stretches about a mile to West 2nd Street (you do have to finish the last 50 feet on Meadows Drive.) The North-South Greenway scales over Barclay Heights, ideal for a mild hill workout. Be aware that the path is not paved where it crosses Wallace Road; instead you can jog up a few stairs and bark chips. This is another good out and back option.

Jennifer Nice is proud of her deep McMinnville roots, and endorses every route and trail on this list! She’s also run in Dominica, Brazil, Ghana, South Africa, India, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Mexico, Canada, Austria, and Germany. Bitten by the travel bug as a teen, she attempts to keep up her travel blog, Experiential Passage, between raising two kids, heading out on new adventures, and running her SEO writing business, Write Nice.

See more about Jennifer here: - Experiential Passage - Write Nice

Miller Woods
Miller Woods

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