About Emerald City Trail Series

May 30, June 6, 13, 21, 25,  – 2024

6:30 pm from Trail 38 trailhead in Buford Recreation Area, Eugene, OR

Big Timber Running Club will direct the Emerald City Trail Series. It is a fun trail race series held in Howard Buford Recreational Area and Mt. Pisgah Arboretum in Eugene. This set of five trail races between 3-8 miles takes place on Thursdays starting May 30. Because of the Olympic Trials, the final race will be Tuesday, June 25. The park’s wide variety of trails and scenery makes Buford and Mt. Pisgah a wonderful place to have a series.   Mt. Pisgah’s 1531′ summit is in the middle of the largest of Lane County’s 73 parks. It offers views of the Cascade Mountains, Spencer Butte, the Middle and Coastal Forks of the Willamette River, Eugene, Springfield, Creswell, Jasper, Pleasant Hill, and Goshen.


Mt. Pisgah is the high point of Howard Buford Recreational Area, the largest park in Lane County.


All races will start at the #38 trailhead near the Sheriff’s Mounted Posse arena at the North end of Buford. Parking will be on Buford Park Road, just beyond the North Trailhead Parking Lot gate. Runners must have a $5 parking permit using the Passport Parking app and zone 97306 for each race. An annual Lane County Parks Permit will also work. Donate at least $50 to Friends of Buford and Mt. Pisgah membership and get a Lane County Parking Permit good at all parks, plus park trail maps.


We know that not everyone can make all of the races.  So we’ve added an option to run an individual race for $25 with payment on UltraSignup and by cash, Venmo, or PayPal at the check-in.

We’ll meet for a party after the last race on June 25, where we will give out awards and raffle prizes from our sponsors.  All participants receive an Emerald City Trail Series glass from Ninkasi and Bigfoot Beverages.

Land Acknowledgement

We honor and recognize that we gather for this event on the traditional lands of the native people within the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, including the Chafan Tribe and the Kalapuya Tribe, all having occupied and stewarded these lands for countless generations.

Trail Work Party

Big Timber will host a trail work party with the Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah. Volunteer hours at the party will suit trail work requirements, including races like Mountain Lakes 100 and Oregon Cascades 100. Date TBD.


  • Points are generated for every Emerald City Trail Series race finish based on overall gender place.
  • The sum of the four best UltraSignup scores will determine a racer’s final score for the Emerald City Trail Series.
  • Participants’ age group for the Emerald City Trail Series is the age at registration (an advantage of registering early!)
  • Awards go to the top three male and female runners and the top three male/female runners in the following age groups: 19 and Under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69. The top three male and female runners are not eligible for age group awards.
  • Join us for awards after the final race in the Emerald City Trail Series.



Courses are subject to change based on the park ranger’s discretion, wildlife protection, or natural preservation.

Race #1; May 30, 2024


We are unable to cross through the arboretum trails this year since the series starts in May.

The new route is 5.4 miles with 1300′ ascent, going up trail 3, 7, back to 3, 36, summit over trail 6, down 1, 4, and finally back down 3. Runners reach views of Eugene and the Coastal Mountains, a rocky terrain climb through an open prairie and a descent past Swing Hill to the finish.


Trail #4’s hilly terrain winds through thick green forests with brief views of the McKenzie River valley

Race #2; June  6, 2024

Race # 2 is now 3.75 miles (previously 4.5 miles) as some of the North Bottomlands trails will be closed due to coyote dens in the area. This out-and-back uses the North Bottomlands (#8) and North Quarry (#5) trails along the Coast Fork of the Willamette River. This flat and fast course is perfect for track and cross-country athletes to show their speed. It’s also a nice shake-out run for those participating in the McKenzie River Trail Runs 50k the following Saturday.


Trail #1 (Summit trail) has views of the south Willamette Valley and the Coastal Range.

Race #3; June  13, 2024

Five miles with 1325′ ascent using trails 3, 4, 24, 1, and back to 3. We’ll start heading up to the park’s northern boundary on trails that traverse through shaded forests of oaks and mixed conifers. The route makes a steep cut uphill toward the summit and then steadily descends back to the finish.


Race #2 follows the Coast Fork of the Willamette River

Race #4; June  20, 2024

Eight miles with 2000′ ascent using trails 3, 7, 1, 6, 2, 4, and back to 3. The longest and maybe the most challenging race of the series. This route is the only one that reaches the true summit of Mt. Pisgah. Look for Diamond Peak and Mt. Bachelor above the cascade foothills. Once at the top, runners will descend a gravel trail toward the East Trailhead with scenic shots of Goshen and Pleasant Hill. This route uses all 2.8 miles of the short but steep grades of the shaded North Boundary Trail.


Race #4 summits Mt. Pisgah, where Diamond Peak, the coastal range, and the southern Willamette Valley all come into view.


Race #5; June  25, 2024

Three miles with 750′ ascent using trails 3, 7, 17, 1, and back on 3. This one may be short, but it’s a tough one. Race #5 starts like race #1 but turns on the Summit Trail from the Arboretum for a half-mile climb with over 400′ of vert. Celebrate the Emerald City Trail Series race at the finish line with food and beverages.


The post-race party is always fun at the Emerald City Trail Series!


Race Day Details

No parking at North or West Trailhead.   All participants will park in the field past the North trailhead parking lot and nursery. Follow the road to the Horse Arena for parking (opposite end of the park from the Arboretum). A parking permit is required.

Check-in near the start of #38 trailhead from 5:45 6:15 pm. Water and Naked Nutrition electrolyte will be available to fill a water bottle before and after the race (remember this is a cupless race). Restrooms will be open by the race start. All races start promptly at 6:30.

Courses are marked with orange cones. Trails will be open to the public. Those not respecting park visitors and/or not following trail running etiquette will be disqualified.


Finisher’s glasses for all series competitors and coaster awards for overall and age-group winners.



This race is limited to 150 total runners. Registration begins March 10.

Series – $100

$25 day of race registration for each race (Cash or Venmo only) if space is available.

Merch is also available to purchase.

No refunds, as all sales are final. See the race cancellation policy for more details.

USA Track and Field sanctions the Emerald City Trail Series.


The start/finish line is across from the horse corral at the park’s northern end.



2022 Races Series

2023 Races, Series


2022 Race 1, Race 2, Race 3, Race 4, Race 5

2023 Race 1, Race 2, Race 3, Race 4, Race 5