Bring your bike and enjoy Oregon
Eugene, Cascades & Coast
Begin your journey in Eugene, located at the southern end of the Willamette Valley just two hours south of Portland. You’ll find a collection of locally-owned shops, urban tasting rooms and restaurants. Cycle the extensive bike path system throughout the city, or head to nearby Fern Ridge Reservoir for a fun day of boating and swimming. Discover the many vineyards that line Territorial Highway, then cozy up for the night at a hotel or bed and breakfast. The next morning, begin your ride with serious carbo-loading at Off the Waffle, a local favorite featuring gourmet European-style waffles. Bike out to Armitage Park, where you head northward on the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.
Enjoy a short hike at the historic Tyee Winery located on a certified Century Farm. It is noted for its sustainable practices and art gallery. While there, savor a glass of their Pinot under the old apple tree, from a seedling that made the journey across the Oregon Trail. If you feel like really getting away from it all, Marys Peak is an ideal place for mountain biking or an overnight hike. With a campground situated on the highest peak on the Oregon Coast Range, it is an enjoyable place to hike and bike for miles and miles. If you are looking for a more laid back ride, start at the Irish Bend Covered Bridge and follow the meandering road that leads you to Bald Hill. Gentle paved pathways circle the base of Bald Hill for a mellow ride, or take a trail ride all the way to the top, where you’ll find a bench perfect for savoring views over the valley.
Continue along the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, veer off the path to Historic Brownsville, where everything is within walking distance and the movie “Stand by Me” was filmed. After you’ve enjoyed a snack at Randy’s Main Street Coffee, continue on to historic downtown Albany, including the upscale Sybaris Bistro, the Albany Farmer’s Market, the Historic Carousel and Museum, the Albany Civic Theater, and the Albany Antique Mall, all within a ten-block area. At the Carousel Museum, you’ll find volunteers hand-carving and hand-painting a 52-animal carousel which will eventually be located on the banks of the Willamette. Tours of the carousel are free and include a behind-the-scenes peek into the carving studio, where you can watch artists at work. Cycle past historic homes or take a paved riverfront path to the Calapooia Brewery. Enjoy a glass of their famous chili beer while you cool off on their covered patio.
Make a rejuvenating stop along your ride to catch a river breeze along the Willamette River as you detour through Salem, Oregon’s Capital City. Salem is split by the mighty Willamette River next to lush forests, fields and bird-filled wetlands. Stop at Salem’s Riverfront Park and watch an Osprey catch its next meal; or enjoy a ride on the hand-carved Carousel, or reinvent yourself at A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village, Salem’s year-round children’s museum. You will want to take a stroll through Salem’s beautiful and historic downtown, featuring sky bridge walkways and architectural delights that house specialty shops, galleries and restaurants. The Salem Community Markets offer three markets on Saturdays, Mondays, and Thursdays throughout growing season; the markets feature locally grown fruits and vegetables, specialty meats and cheeses, candy, fresh flowers, and art from local artisans – truly a feast for all senses.
The sweet song of spring warblers will lure you to explore the Willamette Valley Birding Trail Yamhill Loop, and Winter’s Hill Vineyard hosts trails specially designed for birdwatchers. Nest boxes for the Western Bluebird line the road up to the vineyard, and Acorn Woodpeckers are resident in nearby oaks. Sample a Reserve Pinot Noir or crisp Pinot Gris at the Winter’s Hill tasting room.
Oregon’s Mt Hood Territory
Historic Champoeg State Heritage Area lies just south of Wilsonville and boasts ten miles of hiking and biking trails. The paved cycling trail winds through old-growth hardwood forests, while the hiking-only trail curves along the banks of the Willamette. Champoeg State Park resides alongside the winding Willamette River Water Trail, so be on the lookout for canoeists and kayakers. A few miles further east will bring you to the height of your accomplishment when you and your two wheels pull into Skydive Oregon. Pull the ripcord on this adventure, then toast yourself and your mates at nearby AlexEli Vineyard. Feel free to let the award-winning bubbly go right to your head. End your great adventure with a ride into Oregon City, where you can put your bike on the train for free, and ride the rails into downtown Portland or PDX for the flight home.