For the second time since 2012, Eugene has been recognized by Walk Friendly Communities (WFC) for its commitment to providing a pedestrian-friendly environment. This latest designation from WFC as a Gold-level community runs until 2022. WFC is a national recognition program that encourages towns and cities to establish or recommit to a high priority for supporting safe walking environments, and recognizes those working to improve conditions related to walking, such as safety, mobility, access, and comfort.
WFC was impressed with a number of things about Eugene, including our pedestrian planning, infrastructure, community outreach, education, and the implementation of the city’s Vision Zero policy, making loss of life or serious injury on the city’s transportation system unacceptable.
As summer creeps into the Willamette Valley, it’s the perfect time to explore Eugene’s 46 miles of shared use paths (plus other countless trails and bicycle/pedestrian bridges) by foot! Here are a few of our favorite places to walk around town that you may enjoy:
- Pre’s Trail: This 4.07 mile bark-chip path was the inspiration of the great Steve Prefontaine, and weaves through Alton Baker Park with views of the Willamette River and Autzen Stadium.
- Hendricks Park Trail: There’s no better way to see Eugene’s oldest park then by walking the miles of trails that weave through its 78 acres. Known for it’s rhododendron garden, Hendricks Park offers bark-covered trails beneath a canopy of towering trees.
- Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System: This trail runs on both sides of the Willamette River, with five pedestrian/bike bridges connecting both sides of the river. It winds through neighborhoods, industrial areas, open spaces, and a number of parks, including Delta Ponds, Alton Baker, and Owen Rose Garden.
- University of Oregon walking tours: With a 295 acre campus, there’s a lot to see around the U of O! Try a self-guided walking tour, where you can explore works of art (including sculptures, incredible pieces of metalworking, and fountains), historic buildings and landscapes (some designated as National Historic Landmarks), or trees around campus (more than 500 species of tree call the U of O campus home).
- Download “A Runner’s Map of TrackTownUSA” – an excellent visual guide of trails and paths throughout the area.