ElevationAscent: 51' 16 m
Descent: -51' -16 m
High: 438' 134 m
Low: 415' 127 m
GradeAvg Grade: 0% (0°)
Max Grade: 1% (1°)
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“A popular city trail built to commemorate University of Oregon running legend Steve Prefontaine.”— Brendan Ross
Wide enough to easily accommodate the cross country teams and races that take advantage of Pre's ideal location, it is a popular unpaved trail option. Experienced hikers won't find any challenge to the pancake-flat grade it doesn't even climb a hundred feet in its four-plus miles but this is a perfect location for tempo runs or people-watching.
Be sure to stop by Eugene Running Company before leaving the area, just a block away at 116 Oakway Center. The walls are filled with interesting running memorabilia from Eugene, Oregon, Nike, and the Olympics, and the outstanding staff is happy to give visitors a tour.
The trail is broken into three short loops with connectors between them. It starts on the busiest segment, the Green Loop, which passes by most of the park's day use attractions. Look for the Hays Tree Garden on the right and Science Factory on the left as the path follows Canoe Canal. As the trail exits the tree canopy, Autzen Stadium comes into a view, and once reaching the stadium's south gate it turns south towards a footbridge. Head across and to the east on the first connector.
The small Yellow Loop is next, and it's a quick trip along a mostly-open field before reaching a pond and the second connector. At the corner of the pond, turn left to pick up the Red Loop. The trail turns to follow the canal further, passing under a bridge and along a number of riverside homes across the water. Continue circling the Whilamut Natural Area as the trail turns south and picks up the Willamette River on the other side of the park's island.
From here, the trail follows the river for about three quarters of a mile before reaching the connector again and rejoining the Yellow Loop. The southern section of the Loop is more wooded, and passes Autzen Connector, taking hikers to the University of Oregon and downtown Eugene.
The Green / Yellow Connector comes up at the three and a half mile point. The last segment of Pre's Trail passes three more of the park's features: a huge dog park, Cuthbert Auditorium, and the disc golf course. Wind past all three, keeping an eye out for the heavy foot traffic in this area. Pre's Trail ends back at the parking lot.
Connections on either end of the park to the rest of Eugene's extensive trail system allow creative hikers to make Pre's Trail part of a much longer route.
Pre's Trail is still a popular training and racing destination. It's common to see local cross country teams, including the Oregon Ducks, and several notable races take place here throughout the year.
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Land Manager: Eugene, OR Parks and Open Space