The Oxbow Trail Run is a family fun event that takes place in scenic Oxbow Regional Park, Metro just outside of Gresham on the Sandy River about 30 minutes from downtown Portland.


UPDATE, April 2021: Metro Parks is NOW reviewing 2021 permits so we are submitting a permit for August 21. Metro is optimistic we will be approved with Covid policies in place by July 1st. If approved, registration will open the first week it is approvedRegistration will be capped at 100 total runners.  Rollovers from 2020 Trillium Blooms and Oxbow Trail Runs will be eligible to use credit for the 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon races.


Float or float? Spend the day at Oxbow

Originally we thought of floating a popular section of the Sandy River Water Trail 3.5 miles downriver to Dabney State Park after the run. However, no insurance company would allow it.  Instead, each finisher gets a root beer float!

Bring the family for fun after the race.  The Alder Picnic Area will be reserved for participants and their guests for the whole day.  There are two barbeques, so bring charcoal and food to throw on the grill.  There are horseshoe pits and play structures, plus a trail down to the beach on the Sandy River.

Shuttle with a friend and float the river in a tube, boat or kayak.  Follow the safety guidelines of the Sandy River Trail Guide.  It is the responsibility of each individual river user to be safe as neither Northwest Dirt Churners or Oregon Metro is part of the river float.

Reserve a camping spot and stay for the weekend.


Alder Picnic Area (Picture courtesy of Oregon Metro)


Both the 5k and 10k start and finish at the Alder Picnic Area in the center of the park next to the Sandy River.  Both races are cupless.  The 10k will have a water-only station for refills of handhelds, etc. at the four-mile turnaround point.



5K– The 5k is fairly flat and a great way for new runners to get acclimated to running trails.  The start of the run provides stunning views of the oxbow bend of the Sandy River and the foothills surrounding it.  After a couple of miles, the course heads toward Elk Meadow and the Ancient Forest, a section of 700-year-old majestic trees in an old-growth forest.

5k Elevation Profile

10k- The 10k follows the 5k route for the first 2.3 miles, where the two distances split and the run climbs up to Alder Ridge.  The trail circles around Elk Meadow.  On a clear day, Mt. Hood appears between the towering Douglas Firs.  On the other side of the plateau is an out and back along the equestrian trail.  Runners will be treated with a 300′ challenging climb in a half-mile to the road, only to turn around at the aid station and navigate the stairs and roots on the descent.  Continue the loop on Alder Ridge past the moss of ferns of the forest to meet back on the 5k course and the Ancient Forest to the finish.

10k Elevation Profile

The evergreens and ferns on the trail around Alder Ridge

Half Marathon will be two 10k loops with a short out and back through the Ancient Forest Trails on the first loop.

Race Day Details


Oxbow Regional Park, Metro opens at 6:30 am. Remember it is $5 per car to park.

Parking is at Alder Picnic Area until full.  There are other parking areas throughout the park.

Check-in from 8-9:30 am.  Water will be available to fill a water bottle before and after the race (remember this is a cupless race).  Park restrooms are near the picnic area.

Half Marathon will start at 9:00 am from Alder Picnic Area. We’ll have a pre-race meeting five minutes before the start.

Both 5k and 10k waves start at 9:45 am from Alder Picnic Area.  We’ll have a pre-race meeting five minutes before the start.

The finish is also at Alder Picnic Area.  Finishers will be given a cup and utensils for root beer floats.  Guests can have root beer floats as well, we ask for a $5 donation.  Skout Organic bars and seeds, fruit, and water will also be available for recovery.

Stay until the park closes at dusk.


The first half-mile of the race provides amazing views of the Sandy River.



Sign up today at Ultrasignup.  This race is limited to 100 total runners.

Unique awards from PDX Laser Craft for top 3 male and female finishers of each race and Masters (40+) division.  Prizes will be raffled off from our sponsors for the participants.

5k – $35

10k – $50

No refunds as all sales are final.

This race is sanctioned by USA Track and Field

About Oxbow Regional Park, Metro

All vehicles entering the park as part of the event will pay a $5 parking fee at the entry booth, busses are $7.

No Pets–  We love them, but pets are not allowed in the vehicle or on a leash at Oxbow Regional Park.  This is to preserve the sensitive habitat of the park.

No Alcohol–  Alcohol is not allowed in Oxbow Regional Park.  Smoking or Vaping is also not allowed.

Oxbow Bend of Sandy River is a great way to cool down on a hot August day. (Picture courtesy of Oregon Metro)