About Emerald City Trail Series

June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 – 2022

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

The Emerald City Trail Series 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 every Thursday in June. What makes Buford and Mt. Pisgah a wonderful place to have a series is the park’s wide variety of trails and scenery.   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 will be required to 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 $20 with payment by cash, Venmo, or PayPal at the check-in.

We’ll meet at Public House for a party after the last race on June 30, 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.

The Emerald City Trail Series will benefit Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Lands Operations. Mission Statement states, “Exercise CTGR sovereignty by identifying, acquiring, and managing Tribal lands and resources throughout the Tribe’s ceded lands and other areas of interest.

Trail Work Party

Northwest Dirt Churners invites anyone to join us for 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 Tillamook Burn 100. We’ll have a date in the spring of 2023 soon.


  • Points are generated for every Emerald City Trail Series race finish based on overall gender place.
  • The sum of the four lowest scores will determine a racer’s final score for the Emerald City Trail Series.
  • The lower the score, the higher the place. Example: Shelly’s women’s overall place is 10th, 12th, 9th, 15th, and 4th in each of the five races. The four lowest scores add up to 35, Shelly’s final score.
  • 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 at Public House after the final race in the Emerald City Trail Series for awards and raffle prizes.



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

Race #1; June 1, 2023

6.5 miles with 1100′ ascent using trails 3, 17, 5, and back to 3. Runners reach views of Eugene and the Coastal Mountains, Arboretum trails, 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  8, 2023

4.5 miles using the North and South Bottomlands trails. This out-and-back is for the track and cross-country athletes to show their speed. This flat and fast race follows the Coast Fork of the Willamette River and the fields on the SW side of the park.


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

Race #3; June  15, 2023

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 a steady descent back to the finish.


Race #2 follows the Coast Fork of the Willamette River

Race #4; June  22, 2023

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  29, 2023

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 race at the Emerald City Trail Series at the finish lines with a food cart and beverages.


The finish line is always a fun time to meet other trail runners.


Race Day Details

No parking at North or West Trailhead.   All participants will park on the road past the North Trailhead parking lot. 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 Gnarly 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.

Due to COVID-19, Northwest Dirt Churners will require all participants to follow all Oregon Health Authority’s guidelines at the time of events regarding social distancing and limits for social gatherings apply.


The start and finish of each race are at the #38 trailhead by the horse corral.



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

Series – $70, $80 after May 1st

$20 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.


2022 Races Series


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