Alton Baker Park is open from 6 am to 11 pm, 365 days a year.
One of the three loops making up Pre's Trail
, the Green Loop is the most commonly-visited segment, being closest to parking and several Alton Baker Park attractions. The most common starting point is the parking area on the western end; the trailhead can be seen next to a map sign at the northeast corner of the lot.
The Green Loop is almost entirely a wide, flat doubletrack on mulch-covered gravel. The path is very well maintained, and small rocks will only be visible in areas where the wood chips have worn thin.
Moving in a clockwise direction, the Loop meanders alongside a large grassy field to the right. At the quarter mile point it briefly merges into a parallel gravel trail. It then turns to the south, making a slow circle around Hays Tree Garden, which is visible just across the creek on the right. University of Oregon's Autzen Stadium will soon come into view through the trees on the other side, though on game days hikers will have heard it coming from far away.
The Green Loop then turns east near the colorful Science Factory building, following the creek. As it comes to the south gate of Autzen Stadium, the trail crosses a wooden footbridge. Turn left after the bridge if taking Pre's Trail
in its entirety, or bear right to stay on the Green Loop.
The trail borders a huge dog park to the left for a quarter mile and then circles near Cuthbert Ampitheater to the right. A few S turns are all that remain before the Green Loop ends back near the parking lot.
Flora & Fauna
While the loops of Pre's Trail
don't stay in any one environment for long, it does provide short opportunties to see several types of western Oregon wildlife and plants. Wooded and grassland sections alternate, along with some interesting riparian segments along the river. Wildlife is mostly restricted to smaller park animals like ducks and frogs, though fox sightings in the Natural Area are common. Birds circling overheads can include eagles, herons, and ospreys.
Shared By: Brendan Ross