Biking Bliss ~ Eugene, OR

Terry watching the kayakers on the river

Our RV travels have taken us to Armitage County Park in Eugene, Oregon, where we have spent the first couple of days doing errands, you know those dreaded tasks that get in the way of having fun.  With errands out of the way we decided it was time to play, which translates into outdoor adventure (whooo hooo!).  Our sport of choice was to be biking so Terry started checking out trails in the area and soon discovered that Eugene is biking bliss!

We’ve learned that biking is an integral part of Eugene’s culture, which is clear when you hop on a bike and attempt to cross a street.  Drivers actually stop and patiently wait for you.  Alternative means of transportation and sustainability are encouraged in Eugene; bikes are easy to rent; and local biking clubs abound.  Weekly rides and biking events are many and miles and miles of beautifully paved paths branch out in every direction.

Willamette kayakers with interesting stacked rock formations in the river (foreground)

We settled on the North Bank Path which we picked up just a few miles from where we are camped, a delightful biking path meandering along the swift-flowing Willamette River, along Delta Ponds with its wonderful waterfowl, through dense forests, and golden meadows.

Canada geese at Delta Ponds, enjoying the sunshine

There are a choice of bridges that can be taken, dropping you off into downtown Eugene or the University of Oregon, which is what we did, spending a little time wandering the beautiful campus.

Lovely University of OR campus

We enjoyed a picnic lunch at Island Park, site of the Blues and Brews Festival this weekend (oh yeah!).  From here we biked back to the downtown area, then on to the Amazon Creek Bike Trail, heading west of town toward the wetlands. Terry checked at a bike shop to get a better trail map (not available) and learned this was the route we needed to take.  After biking for a while I asked Terry how far to our destination and he said 4 miles, but 4 miles from where he wasn’t sure (minor detail).

Me along the Willamette River

This is another great biking trail along Amazon Creek, which has been widened and deepened over the years to encourage waterfowl to visit, so very pleasant riding.  After some time we still were not seeing the wetlands and we must have gone another 4 miles.  Out of nowhere, up pops the Euphoria Chocolate Company, as good an excuse as any to stop.  We browsed their cases and each decided on a piece of dark-chocolate sustenance, and although I would not label it euphoric, it was yummy.  We decided to point our bikes east and save the wetlands for another day, due to the time of day and what my seat was telling me after 6 hours on a bike.  There is supposed to be kayaking opportunity out there so perhaps we will be back.

Community gardens along the path – love it!

If you fancy hiking instead of biking, these same trails and more can be used to walk or run.  Pre’s Trail, named after Steve Prefontaine, long-distance phenom who sparked the 1970’s “running boom”, is a soft-surface path covered in bark chips ideal for running or hiking, and is part of this network.  If biking is your thing, you are certain to experience biking bliss in Eugene.

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