Actively Northwest Neighborhood: Portland’s Central Eastside

Outdoor Adventures Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Written by

Ready for a new neighborhood adventure? Hop over to the east bank of the Willamette River to Portland’s Central Eastside. An industrial district close to downtown, the Central Eastside offers a great balance of fun new restaurants, art galleries and access to riverside fitness on the Springwater Corridor. Leave your car and parking woes behind by riding over on your bike or hopping on the Central Loop line of the Portland Street Car.

Here are a few of our favorite spots to check out for a great workout and some deliciously healthy eats.

The Workout: Eastbank Esplanade

The best parts of the trek to the east bank are the great views of the Portland skyline. For a workout with a view, head to the Eastbank Esplanade, a 1.5 mile section of the larger 20-mile Springwater Corridor Trail. Popular during the week with the runners and cyclists that work in the area, we love the trail for a leisurely walk or a quick weekend run.

Family Friendly: For an easy 2.5 mile loop, start at the Eastbank Esplanade and head south to the Southwest Hawthorne Bridge. Cross the bridge, looping right as you make your way through the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Cross back over at the Steel Bridge.

Endurance Runners: Try the 11-mile Sellwood Steel Loop, as mapped out by the Portland Running Company. A longer version of the loop trail above, the route takes you all the way down to the Sellwood Bridge, taking you past additional sites such as the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and Willamette Park.

Walking on the Eastbank Esplanade trail in Portland [photo courtesy of Ian Sane]

Businesses to Bookmark: Portland Running Company & River City Bicycles

Need support for your active adventures? The Central Eastside has you covered. Here are our neighborhood favorites for runners, cyclists and river sport enthusiasts alike.

Portland Running Company: This is not your traditional running shoe store. If you’re ready for a new pair of kicks that truly work with your unique running style, head over to Portland Running Company. The staff will first evaluate your running stride and workout routine. You’ll then hit the pavement and test out a few pairs on a short jog by the store before you buy. If you’re looking for a new running group, check their store events which feature track runs, long runs and easier social runs.

River City Bicycles: For those looking to purchase a new road or mountain bike (or even just get a tune-up), River City Bicycles is a must-visit. If you’re new to the sport, you can attend one of their free, weekly bike maintenance classes. For new riding inspiration, join the River City staff for their Sunday adventure ride around Portland.

Biking in Portland

The Food Stop: The Farm Café

For a healthy farm-to-table indulgence, stop by the The Farm Café after your outdoor adventure. From meat that’s been butchered in-house to farm-fresh eggs, this is one culinary destination that doesn’t mess around. The varied, yet small and intimate menu will appeal to vegetarians and carnivores alike, and on a nice sunny day, you can take in the neighborhood sites with a seat outside.

The Farm Café [photo courtesy of Tom Ipri]What are your favorite spots in the Central Eastside? We’d love to hear in the comments below.

Eastbank Esplanade photo courtesy of Ian Sane via Flickr. Farm Café photo courtesy of Tom Ipri via Flickr. Header photo courtesy of Robert Ashworth via Flickr.