Perhaps you’ve been driving along and noticed a sign letting you know that you are on a “scenic byway.” Or, if you’re a paddler, you may be aware that there are numerous wild and scenic rivers designated by the National Park System. But did you know that the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway is the first of its kind in the United States? In a state that truly values pedal power, Oregon is the first to designate scenic bikeways. And this one is something special.
The path follows the river it is named for, shaped by the Coast Range on the west and the Cascades rising to the east. This 134 mile route winds through gorgeous scenery replete with Oregon history. It’s nestled into one of the most abundant agricultural regions of the country. Beginning in Champoeg State Park south of Portland, it snakes through the capital in Salem and winds past small towns, vineyards and farmer’s markets.
Attractions Along the Way
Whether you are refreshed by amazing coffee, fortified by craft beer, or relaxed by a nice glass of wine (or maybe all three), this ride has something for everyone. Poking through quaint shops, picnicking in parks or other natural areas, and exploring university towns are all common pastimes on this mostly flat scenic ride. With a climate that encourages year-round biking, and only one 600-foot elevation gain on the pass south of Brownsville, this trip fits the bill for almost anyone. Check out this video to see more: Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway Video
Tents, Trains, or Take your Time
Camping options as well as inns and lodges make this an enjoyable multi-day adventure. You can also choose Amtrak to ride out and train back for some sections. Whether you are an endurance rider who wants to power through in a long day or weekend or someone who prefers to meander, planning the perfect trip is easy. Consider breaking the ride up into sections and riding one each season of the year. Order a free copy of the Oregon Scenic Bikeway Map and start planning your next bike adventure today.