The Oxbow Trail Runs is a family fun event in the scenic Oxbow Regional Park, Metro, just outside Gresham on the Sandy River, about 30 minutes from downtown Portland.  This year’s date for the Oxbow Trail Runs is September 17. Registration opens July 5th.


The start and finish is at the Alder Picnic area on the Sandy River

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. So instead, each finisher gets a root beer float!

The Alder Picnic Area is reserved for participants and their guests for the whole day.   ETA will be serving complimentary sandwiches for participants to enjoy after the race.

There are two barbeques, so bring charcoal and food to throw on the grill. In addition, there are horseshoe pits and play structures, plus a trail down to the beach on the Sandy River.  Please note we may have to limit guests and spectators depending on Oregon’s vaccination rate and the COVID-19 state restrictions.

Shuttle with a friend and float the river in a tube, boat, or kayak.  Follow the safety guidelines of the Sandy River Trail Guide.  Each river user’s responsibility is to be safe as neither Northwest Dirt Churners nor Oregon Metro is part of the river float.

Reserve a camping spot and stay for the weekend. At the moment, Metro is only accepting camping reservations 30 days in advance due to the operational limitations with COVID.


Alder Picnic Area has plenty of space to enjoy after the race.


The 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon start and finish are at the Alder Picnic Area in the park’s center next to the Sandy River. Each race is cupless.  The Half and 10k will have a water-only station for refills of handhelds, etc., at the four-mile turnaround point and 11-mile point for the Half.



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

Half Marathon will be two 10k loops with a short out and back through the Ancient Forest Trails on the first loop. The total elevation is 1800′.

Oxbow Regional Park is a great location for families to enjoy a weekend of camping and trails.

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 8-8:45 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, the 10k at 9:20 am, and the 5k at 9:40 am from Alder Picnic Area.  We’ll have a pre-race meeting five minutes before each 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 ($5) and sandwiches from ETA ($10.)

Endurance Evolution is timing the event and will post results immediately after the race.  Since there is no cell service at Oxbow, results will be posted on UltraSignup the Monday after the event.






Stay until the park closes at dusk.



This race is limited to 120 total runners.

Unique awards 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 – $45, $55 July 1st

10k – $60, $70 July 1st

Half – $70, $80 July 1st

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. Cell service is minimal.

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.

10k and Half Marathon Runners get to enjoy the trails on Alder Ridge above the Sandy River