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.
Like the Yellow Loop
and Green Loop
to the west, the Red Loop of Pre's Trail
is a flat run through Eugene's scenic Alton Baker Park. Further from the streets and encompassing the Whilamut Natural Area, the Red Loop is more peaceful and remote that the rest of Pre's Trail
, though it is still a popular destination for local runners and walkers.
Beginning at the pond on the Red Loop's western end and circling clockwise, the trail starts near two benches at the end of Yellow / Red Connector
. Head north along the lake, and then pass underneath a small bridge as the path turns east along Canoe Canal. Here, the Loop is bordered by some nice riverfront homes to the left and the grassy fields of the Natural Area to the right.
As the trail nears the elevated interstate, it turns south after passing another footbridge and crosses the asphalt bike path. It then turns west, passing another pedestrian bridge, and follows the Willamette River. Despite some tree plant areas on the left, this section allows the best views of the river along Pre's Trail
. This also seems to be muddiest section of the trail in wet weather, although the wood chip-gravel construction drains quickly and is rarely much of a problem.
Red Loop nears a pair of radio towers around the mile and a half point and turns north. It's a few hundred feet to the end of the trail by the connector. Trail users wanting to go a bit further can cross the bike path to the right and pick up the Red Loop Shortcut
, which cuts through the Natural Area.
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.