Oregon is famous for its Crater Lake and most photographed lighthouses, and it’s a bike-friendly state, too! Oregon is overflowing with great bike paths, lanes, boulevards, and bridges. Oregon’s local government is also keen on improving bike systems and encouraging its people to walk and cycle. In fact, their government website has several articles about biking trails in Oregon!
Below is a list of the best biking trails in Oregon to help you get started.
Oregon Biking Experience: Advanced and Long trails
The Oregon Alps
Looking for an exciting long weekend? Well, you have come to the right state! The Oregon Alps around the high Wallowas is the best trail Oregon has to offer. Since Oregon has almost all landforms from deserts and mountains to valleys and shore — your long weekend is best spent here.
Bikers can start from La Grande and ride south along the beautiful Catherin Creek. You will cross the Powder River valley, and ride 55 miles to Baker City. The next day, visit the Oregon Trail Interpretive center on Flagstaff Hill, head 50 miles east to Halfway and the postcard-perfect Pine Valley. Daredevils will surely enjoy quick detour down the Snake River and ride the floor of Hells Canyon. The view of Hells Canyon Overlook is a picturesque beauty any camera cannot capture — because your eyes will always be so much better! Once done appreciating this biking trail, tour with an 80-mile downhill romp back to La Grande.
Rim Drive at Crater Lake
One of the must-ride biking trails in Oregon is Rim Drive at Crater Lake. Its location suggests that there are no flat spots here and that it’s 7,000 feet above. This trail comes with about 30 overlooks and pullouts so need not worry about stopping just to catch air. The ride is truly worth the pedaling. Why? Simple — unbelievable views will take your breath away.
McKenzie River Trail
Are your tires fat? Because McKenzie River Trail near Santiam pass in the cascades is well suited for it! Like other biking trails in Oregon, this trail boasts additional thrill and challenges that will take your adrenaline to the next level!
Reasons? Well, imagine dropping from an elevation of 3,200 feet to 1,450 feet on a combination of single tracks and snake-winding roads! You are sure to face a lot of challenges and train your bike skills in one ride, including log bridges and lava flows! More like an adventure trail than a river trail, isn’t it?
Make sure to have the right biking helmet when traversing these trails! Check out our selections for you.
Oregon Biking Experience: Beginner Trails
Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail
Historic as its name can be, this trail will give you enough dose of sightseeing thrill and beauty. Designed to be The King of the Roads, which is the most beautiful highway in the world, it showcases astonishing architectures, beautiful landscape and views-perfect for catching your breath while cycling.
Start riding west from Columbia Gorge Discovery Center in The Dalles and find the tunnel that brings you a totally different climate zone. End your journey back to The Dalles and be sure to try the city’s great new riverfront trail that links directly from the Discovery Center’s parking lot.
Banks/Vernonia State Trail
One of the beginner-friendly biking trails in Oregon, the Banks/Vernonia State Trail features 80-foot-tall wooden trestle and basks in Vernonia’s classic logging town vibe. Banks/Vernonia State trail is mostly asphalt, with some gravel parts and windy effect when crossing the 12 bridges — totally perfect training for beginners. To top this off, it cuts through the Stub Stewart State Park, Oregon’s newest state park, that’s worth seeing.
Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade
Oregon can make you feel like riding with E.T. because you will literally float on Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade trail! Yes, that’s right! It floats on a salmon-choked river in the shade of skyscrapers. Riding this trail means being in awe of the downtown skyline’s beauty, roadside art and admiring the 43,695 shrubs planted along the path.
Beginners will soon extend their rides by passing over Steel and Hawthorne bridges to complete the 3-mile loop through Waterfront Park. Then, follow the riverfront path south to Sellwood Park. Looking for more? Connect to the Springwater Corridor. Tip: Remember to stop and rub Vera Katz’s nose for good luck!
Oregon Biking Experience: Easy and Kid-Friendly Trails
Row River Trail
This 16-mile trail is along an abandoned rail line from Dorena Lake to Cottage Dave. This trail holds historical features of pile trestles, an array of truss bridges, and three covered bridges that serve as instant shed from occasional rain showers.
Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
Willamette Valley Bikeway, Oregon’s first Scenic Bikeway which starts from Champoeg State Park (Portland), roams 130 bucolics, and low-traffic miles through “The Land at Eden’s Gate.” This route’s best parts include crossing the Willamette Mission State Park, the neighborhoods of Albany, communities of Brownsville, Coburg and Independence, and the Willamette River.
Riding Willamette Valley is more amazing when you’re off the freeway. Daring types can ride through a small piece of wine country climbing over the Eola Hills.
Tip: Butteville General store is a gem found at Champoeg, a local store that has been in service to bikers for more than 100 years.
Bike Fact: Did you know that aside from Portland, Eugene, Oregon is one of the top ten cycling communities in the United States? Yes, it was considered by Bicycling Magazine! Eugene has updated their biking infrastructure and implemented extensive low-stress bike network with protected bike lanes and greenways.
Eugene, Oregon encourages its population to consider cycling and walking which started in 2016. At 6.8 percent rate of residents using a bike to work is enough for you to consider biking in Oregon maybe even settling in for good! So what are you waiting for? Visit the best biking trails in Oregon today!
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