Good cross country courses are hard to find. McIver State Park has all the elements of a great cross country course. Originally designed as an 18-hole golf course along the Clackamas River, it was obtained by the State Park Bureau after the developer abandoned it just prior to completion. The fairways, separated by trees and shrubs, now form the meadows that the course utilizes.
McIver has those critical elements that make up a great racing experience. The course is all grass or woodchip trails. It is challenging in its terrain with enough hills to test the runners, but not so many that the runners can’t race at a fast tempo. The course is also scenic for the racers as they run through forests, meadows, and along the river bank.
Spectators are an important part of a course. At McIver, spectators can view the race at several stages without moving far from the central start/finish area. Other courses may be faster because of flat terrain and asphalt surfaces, but McIver is pure cross country - an exciting place to compete for true cross country racers.
Recognizing McIver Park as a great cross country course, the NCAA selected it as the site of the 1999, 2003, and 2007 NCAA III West Regional Meets. McIver Park was the first course in the Northwest to host this meet.