SW 45th Avenue and Vermont Street
Portland Parks & Rec Page
Upon arriving at Gabriel Park in the morning of the final Portland Parks & Rec 5k of the year, I immediately realized something: this was going to be a hilly course.
And it was! A total elevation gain of 384ft according to Garmin. This was the most difficult of the four P&R courses I’ve run, but it also happened to be the most beautiful. The start sloped downhill for about 3/4ths of a mile before cutting right into the forest. Seriously, it felt like I went from civilization into a wooded area. Turns out the entire center section of Gabriel Park is split by what I believe one could call a copse of trees. We ran through it fairly quickly but on the loop back (aka the uphill part) again we ran into the forest. It was lovely. I really appreciated the juxtaposition of the park with its sports centers and playgrounds and the peaceful serene trail in the woods.
Ultimately, I was shooting for a 33 minute 5k today but the hills got me good. I’ll settle for my time though, considering I’m still running on tired legs as I train for the Portland (Half) Marathon.
As far as a park goes, boy this one has everything. It’s got baseball diamonds, it’s got basketball courts, it’s got tennis courts, it’s got a friggen skatepark and volleyball it’s got two very interesting and fun looking playgrounds. It’s got a dog park. It’s got a community garden and an apple orchard. And cutting through it all is the aforementioned copse. Of the four parks I’ve ran this series, I think this one is the best. Which makes sense because it’s in the rich part of town. I can see why they saved this one for last.
Aesthetics: Gorgeous. Just gorgeous all around. Lots of levels and trees. 10/10
Function: Probably the most functional park I’ve ever seen. Sports AND little wooded trails AND a community garden? It’s got everything! 10/10
Sketchiness: The only sketchy thing I saw was an older lady fainted or something just before the run started and the EMTs came to check up on her. This place is pristine. 10/10