For anyone who has ever experienced the electrifying atmosphere of Hayward Field or jogged along a tree-lined running trail where Olympic-caliber athletes train, it's not surprising that Eugene is often referred to as a runner's paradise, a Mecca for track and field, and is: TrackTown USA.
Located in the scenic landscape of the Willamette Valley, between the Oregon Coast and the Cascade Mountains, Eugene and neighboring Springfield offer a bounty of venues and events focused on track and field and the local running community.
Miles of trails offer diverse terrain and training territory for runners of all skill-levels – including many world-class athletes, who have been drawn to the area to live and compete. European-inspired bark running trails are prevalent throughout the city from level pathways to hillside woodland trails. Runners share the right of way with cyclists along the extensive black-topped paths that meander along the beautiful banks of the Willamette River. Paths are easily accessible on both the north and south banks with five bike/footbridges that span the river.
Events - Watch the Action
From up and coming hopefuls to the world's best, there's no better place to watch track and field athletes in action than in Eugene. At center stage, legendary Hayward Field is the premier site of a long list of meets, from the internationally-acclaimed Prefontaine Classic to the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials — Track & Field.
Be Part of the Action
Imagine actually competing at Hayward Field! In the Eugene/Springfield community, being a spectator is optional. Everyone is welcome to experience the camaraderie of fellow running enthusiasts or the thrill of competition by entering a community run, a marathon or an all-comers' track and field meet. Road racing and track and field enthusiasts of all skill levels are welcome to participate in a variety of local events.
A variety of local organizations and companies exist to support, organize and/or promote running and track and field events. From small, casual community running groups to large-scale championships, these groups provide a cornerstone of support for running enthusiasts and stanch competitive athletes.
Ranked among the best places for running, watching track and field events and for just being an all-out sports fan, Eugene is consistently noted for its athletic amenities and spirit.
History, Legacy & Legends
From the legend of Steve Prefontaine to the waffle iron used to create rubber-spiked soles for Nike's earliest running shoes, Eugene's history is steeped with a rich track and field culture unlike any place in the world.
Explore the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Region
For more information, contact Travel Lane County at (541) 484-5307 or (800) 547-5445 or visit www.EugeneCascadesCoast.org.
Wine Tasting & Touring Take a countryside drive just minutes west of Eugene and Springfield where you’ll find 21 wineries along the Territorial Wine Trial. From small chateaus to grand estates, you can taste and tour your way through the vineyards of the South Willamette Valley.
Rafting, Waterskiing & Fishing The region is home to many rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and borders the Pacific Ocean, providing plenty of opportunities to cool off and enjoy the local recreation scene. Rentals and guided trips will have you whitewater rafting, fishing, water skiing, even wakeboarding.
Dune Buggy Riding & Sandboarding About an hour west of Eugene and Springfield via Highway 126, you’ll arrive in Florence—filled with historic charm and abundant outdoor activities. Tour the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area on an adventurous dune buggy ride or try sandboarding at the world’s first sandboarding park where you can rent boards and get lessons.
Oregon Skyway Gondola Enjoy sightseeing in the Cascade Mountains aboard the Oregon Skyway Gondola at Willamette Pass Ski Area about an hour and half from Eugene and Springfield. Ascend 6,000 feet for panoramic views of the Cascades and high mountain lakes. Enjoy an alpine picnic on the landing area on top of Eagle Peak, then take a leisurely walk or enjoy mountain biking or hiking on miles of surrounding trails. Bike rentals are available on the way in the town of Oakridge.
Cycling & Mountain Biking The region offers a variety of city paths and nature trails for cyclists of all skill levels. More than 100 miles of dedicated bicycle lanes and paths are found in the Eugene and Springfield metro area—including more bike bridges than those for vehicles. Discover two newly designated Oregon Scenic Bikeways in the Willamette Valley or head to the challenging single-track trails in the area of Oakridge, rated among the top mountain biking destinations in the country.
Arts & Culture Small community theaters to the expansive Hult Center for the Performing Arts, offer opera, ballet, choral, theater and symphonic productions. International music festivals include the Grammy-Award winning Oregon Bach Festival, which runs during the Olympic Trials. Many art galleries offer exhibits and art walks. More art, artifacts and sculptures can be found throughout city streets, parks and the University of Oregon’s two on-site museums. Springfield is home to some of the most expansive murals. Area museums are both educational and interactive offering a look at everything from local history to space exploration.
Bird Watching Avid birders flocks to the region for some of the best bird watching opportunities in the Northwest. The area’s diverse landscape is home to hundreds of species. Detailed maps are available to guide you.
Covered Bridges & Byways The region offers the largest collection of covered bridges in the West—20 countywide. The Cottage Grove Covered Bridge Tour Route has the highest concentration. From bridges to byways, don’t miss a trip along three national scenic byways that wind through the area. The McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway, the West Cascade Scenic Byway and the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway are designated for their outstanding natural landscapes and historic features.
Running Around Track Town Eugene is known as Track Town USA, hosting numerous world-class competitions at historic Hayward Field, offering miles of running trails and a rich heritage unmatched by any other destination. Many top athletes live and train here, running in the footsteps of legends like Steve Prefontaine. While you’re here for the Trials, take one of several tours to Pre’s Rock and nearby Hendricks Park or enjoy a film screening of “We Grew Wings” about Oregon’s women in track.
Golfing Discover one of Peter Jacobsen’s “favorite courses in the world.” Find out how on-site GPS technology can improve your game. Shop the largest on-course pro shop in America. From the Cascades to the Oregon Coast, you’ll find championship courses, challenging holes and stunning natural landscapes that will test and inspire you.
Three Rivers Casino The coastal community of Florence is also home to one of Oregon’s newest gaming center—Three Rivers Casino & Hotel. Try your luck at the slots, roulette wheel or blackjack table. The casino provides the perfect ocean side getaway for fun, food and games.
Shopping & Dining Farmers’ markets, antique districts, boutiques, sports shops and more provide diverse shopping venues—all tax free! Local restaurants not only satisfy the appetite, but serve up fresh local ingredients gathered from area farms.
Oregon Country Trails Take a look at the creative work coming out of the Northwest. Working studios of hundreds of artists invite you on this self-guided tour. You’ll also discover local farms, wineries, nurseries, mercantiles and alpaca and wild mustang ranches. Guides and maps will help you explore these rural stops.