written by Bronte Dod | photo by Baker County Tourism
Oregon was the first state in the country to have officially-designated scenic bikeways. Here are six of our favorites with varying levels of difficulty for your two-wheeled adventures this summer.
The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway was the first official scenic bikeway in the state. The 134-mile route begins in Champoeg Park and ends in Eugene with plenty of stops along the way, including wineries and vineyards, farm stands and coffee shops in the small towns that dot the region. While the route is popular in the spring and summer, the mild climate makes it an option year round.
Distance: 134 miles point-to-point
The hardest climb on this 50-mile point-to-point scenic bikeway is a 600-foot elevation gain. Like the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway travels through farmland and wine country. The route takes you through a variety of Oregon terrain from the Coastal Range to valley farms and vineyards. Twenty miles of the trail are on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail away from traffic.
Distance: 50 miles point-to-point
Be prepared to encounter backcountry and forest roads on the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway. The route travels over the Elk River, through the Rogue River Siskiyou National Forest to Cape Blanco State Park and the Pacific Ocean. The entire route is 60 miles, but there are smaller out and back sections to make a personalized route.
Distance: 60 miles
The Grande Tour Scenic Bikeway is one of the newest designated bikeways in Oregon. The Eastern Oregon route winds through, and provides views of the area’s mountain ranges—the Elkhorn Range, Blue Mountains and Wallowa Mountains. Parts of the route are on the historic Oregon Trail route, and along the way, elk, bald eagles and pronghorn antelope may appear.
Distance: 134-mile figure eight loop
The Blue Mountain Century Scenic Bikeway is best traveled in the spring, when Eastern Oregon’s rolling hills are carpeted in a striking green and dotted with an abundance of wildflowers. One of the more difficult rides in the state, this scenic bikeway has a total elevation gain of 8,000 feet, but the views of the Blue Mountains are well worth the climb.
Distance: 108-mile loop
If you’re a less experienced cycler or if you’re biking with young children, the Metolius River Loops Scenic Bikeway offers options for you to carve your own route. The route begins and ends at the general store at Camp Sherman along the Metolius River. Loops of varying distances take you along the Metolius River and offer views of Mt. Jefferson.
Distances vary from a 3.3-mile loop to a 20-mile loop