The wood chip paths of Alton Baker Park are flat and easy. Road shoes will work fine on these well-maintained trails.
is popular, and runners and walkers of all ability levels can be found on the trail throughout the day. Be willing to share the path with those moving faster or slower than your own pace.
The Yellow Loop of Pre's Trail
bridges the busier park activity of the Green Loop
with the protected space of Whilamut Natural Area inside the Red Loop
The northwest access point of the Yellow Loop is following the Green / Yellow Connector
by the Autzen Stadium footbridge. Like the rest of Pre's Trail
, the path is wood chip-covered gravel, flat and well maintained. Headed clockwise, the doubletrack follows the Canoe Canal to its left through some nicely wooded areas, feeling far away from the city.
After several hundred feet, the Yellow Loop crosses the Autzen Connector
, a singletrack shortcut. Going right eventually leads to the Autzen Pedestrian/Bicycle Bridge and the University, while a left turn goes to a small BMX Track. Another singletrack branches off to the left shortly afterwards, but is only a brief side segment that joins the main trail again as it comes to a large pond.
Continue east alongside the pond to connect to the Red Loop
, or turn west to finish the Yellow Loop. The Willamette River is only a hundred feet to the south, but the dense trees through this area make it difficult to see.
Near the half mile point, the Loop again crosses the Autzen Connector
. It then finishes back at the Green / Yellow Connector
a tenth of a mile ahead.
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.