The state of Oregon has a well-deserved reputation for an abundance of natural beauty. With such features as the Oregon coast, Crater Lake National Park, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Mount Hood, the region is an excellent place to ride a bike. If your favored mode of exploring this area is a mountain bike, a road bike or a 500w ebike, you will find ample trails to do your thing. The following trails deliver beauty in abundance in the Northwest.
- The Willamette River Trail – This trail in the famous Willamette Valley (remember to pronounce it right: it’s Willamette, damn it!) is fairly short at just over three miles long, and it is made mostly of asphalt and dirt, so be sure to bring a bike with tires at least 2″ wide. It is close to Corvallis and offers a nice mix of river scenery, forest and meadow.
- Minto-Brown Island Park – This paved trail runs for 11 miles through the scenic country in western Salem. In addition to pleasing natural features, the park has a large sculpture garden and other activities suitable for families. It is a great place for a men’s trail bike, as this style of bike has the versatility to handle a variety of terrains.
- The John Dellenback Trail – This 10-mile asphalt trail is located in south-central Oregon, only 20 miles north of Crater Lake. Riders love the trail for its superlative scenery, as it offers views of snow-covered Mt. Thielsen and Mt. Bailey. Forests, the shoreline of Diamond Lake and meadows full of wildflowers in the summer add to the appeal of this trail.
- The Row River Trail – Located in the Portland vicinity, this 16-mile trail is a rails-to-trails conversion that winds through the Umpqua National Forest. It is especially noteworthy for the bridge constructions one encounters on the ride, including three covered bridges. Many of these bridges span the Row River, of course, and the route follows an old railroad line that once carried wood products and Bohemia ore from mines.
- The McKenzie River Trail – Another fine trail following a gorgeous river, this one will likely require a fat tire bike. It runs for a long distance through areas of the Cascades and there is plenty of elevation change. Riders pass log bridges, old lava flows and hot springs. With the help of a car shuttle, you can ride the trail from Clear Lake back to the McKenzie River trailhead, an 18-mile journey that is mostly downhill.
It is always critical to have the appropriate bike to get the most out of your biking adventures. The question of can you ride a cruiser bike on trails comes up now and then. The short answer is yes, of course. Still, it is a good idea to assess the trails you wish to tackle. Most cruisers come with a comfortable upright riding style, a sturdy frame and thicker tires. On most trails, these attributes will serve you well. Now is the time to look at your bike options when planning a beautiful ride in Oregon.