My weekday runs involve a lot of time-restricted treadmill and training runs. So come Friday, it’s always nice to see all that work pay off in the form of a just-for-fun trail run or race.
Having spent a lot of time running in and around Portland during the week, it’s always nice to travel somewhere new for a run. That’s why I was so excited to give Horning’s Hideout a shot.
Just west of Portland lies North Plains. It’s only 35 minutes from downtown, but it almost feels as if you’re in another state. It’s quaint and you feel that you are far from the modernity and urban bustle of Portland.
As much fun as splashing around on trails can be in the rain, we couldn’t have been more excited to visit Horning’s Hideout on an incredibly sunny day. Having run a Warrior Dash there two years ago, I was somewhat familiar with the area, but still forgot about the entry fee to the privately-owned park (thank goodness for girlfriends who plan ahead). The entry is only $4 per person.
There are a multitude of things to do at Horning’s Hideout. Fishing, disc golf, camping, picnics, and paddleboats are all part of the fun. We came to do most of those things, but we started the day off with a run.
There are some nice options of single track or wider trails. We had a blast cruising up and down the steep terrain, over logs, through creeks, past the pond, and through the occasional brush-laden trail (watch out for stinging nettles). One particular hill seemed to go on forever, but reaching the top and cruising down the other side, nimbly navigating over rocks and logs along the way, made it all worth it. To me it’s moments like that, when you’re blazing down a trail like a kid on a playground, that running is really at its best.
If you time your visit just right, you might catch one of the many peacocks on site strutting his stuff. We caught one fanning his bright blue-green plumage and shaking his tail for a less-than-impressed female.
The Hideout is considered one of the best Frisbee golf locations in the world, as ranked by Disc Golf Review. As disc golf newbies, we chose the easiest course (there are three). Equipment rentals were $1 per disc. For first-timers like us the course was pretty challenging, but a lot of fun regardless.
Following a tiring trail run and some disc golf, it was time to do some serious relaxing. We rented some free fishing poles (you pay for the fish, not the poles here), found a shady spot by the lake and waited for our dinner to bite. It didn’t take long before we had two trout reeled in, as the lake is well-stocked with lots of biting fish. I also managed to catch two salamanders, which some of the kids at the lake found pretty entertaining.
All of this activity will have you ravenous by mid-afternoon, and there isn’t any food on site, so bring your own picnic if you plan to stay all day. Or do what we did and head to the Rogue Brewery in North Plains. Finish off the day with tacos or a burger and an Amber Ale and you’ve got yourself a perfect Saturday.