Pacific Northwest - Places to camp or stay half way across Oregon hwy 126, Florence to Eugene?
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08-08-10, 03:02 AM
I'm looking for a half way point across hwy 126, on our way from Florence to Eugene. I read that there is an RV park in Mapleton but that's too early. Are there any other campgrounds or motels on that route?
08-08-10, 04:19 PM
Yes, there is Archie Knowles CG. You can decide if its too near or far. 18 miles E of Florence.
There is Richardson county park NW of Eugene.
Biking in the dunes?
Don't miss the Ruth Bascom Riverfront Path System in Eugene.
toolbear mentions Archie Knowles, it's nice, but you can go a bit further over the mountain (thru a tunnel, be careful) then down the hill. You'll see a couple county rest areas, then a road to the right after you cross a small bridge, This road will take you to Whittaker Creek Campground. It's nice and off the highway so quieter. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=3945497
Another option to get to Eugene from Florence is highway 36 from Mapleton, less traffic and very pretty. Sections have thin shoulder, but on week days there is little traffic.
08-08-10, 08:19 PM
Do any of these campgrounds have hiker-biker sites or will I need to make reservations?
No hiker - biker, but they are not that busy, plus they will always make a spot for bike travelers, never turn you away. The Whittaker CG is BLM, don't think they have a camp host, so you can just work in a spot. Richardson is a county park, not sure their policy, but they do have a camp host, so they should take bikes in if it's late in the day. Richardson is the closest CG to Eugene, and they are on a nice lake for swimming, Fern Ridge Res.
08-08-10, 10:19 PM
Great! Thank you very much.
08-09-10, 06:31 PM
I will have to look up Whittaker. We have always had good results with BLM. They generally have a nice product.
BTW - Closer campgrounds - Armitage Count Park, on Coburg Rd, close aboard I-5 and on the McKenzie River. Much closer to Eugene than Richardson (which was going to be our 2nd choice).
We stayed there when I was surveying the Ruth Bascom Riverfront Path System (nice ride, 5 bike bridges). County parks can be iffy, but this is a nice one. We will use it again. I belive Coburg Rd. is part of a Willamette Valley bike route. Recall a map, which may be in my files.
08-09-10, 06:40 PM
Looked up Whittaker Creek Rec Area and here is the URL:
Looks like you have some choices.
08-09-10, 07:51 PM
The word from the Boy Scouts (I have some weird friends) is to steer clear of Whittaker Creek campground. They say it often attracts a rather rough crowd these days. If you continue on another fifteen miles along Siuslaw River Rd. you come to Clay Creek campground. I ride past there regularly and it seems to have a nice clientele. Or, you can camp almost anywhere along the Siuslaw River. If you go to either Whittaker or Clay Creek, be aware that Siuslaw River Rd. is closed about five miles past Clay Creek for bridge replacement (until 8/20/10).
I would strongly suggest you rethink your route. If you continue east on hwy126 from Mapleton, you will be going uphill in a long dim tunnel. There is essentially no shoulder and traffic consists of RVs, pick-ups with trailers and trucks all traveling 60-70 mph. If you insist on this route, alert your loved ones to take out hefty life insurance policies on you. I used to live just a few miles east of that tunnel and I would ride thirty miles out of my way to avoid it. If you survive the tunnel, it doesn't get much better later. The curves around both Walton and Noti are shoulderless and blind and the drivers generally overdrive their vision. I used to use this route on my way into Eugene, but only at 2:30 A.M. when I would have 6 vehicles go past me (two gas tanker trucks, a NAPA auto parts truck, two drunks and one of my neighbors).
Take Shifty's advise and take hwy36 out of Mapleton. It's not great, but it is at least much less traveled. If you can handle some gravel, you can head south at Swiss Home and continue along the Siuslaw River. If you do this, you will either have to deal with the Walton/Noti sections of hwy126 or, a route I have enjoyed, continue along the river past hwy126 (and past Whittaker Creek). Because of the road work, you will have to take the long way from there: At mp10 go to the right (towards Esmonds Creek, Smith River). Seven miles later (after a 2 1/2 mile climb), turn left on M-Line (Google maps doesn't show this road going through, ignore them, partial gravel, say hello to the bears). Eleven miles later you arrive at Oxbow Summit. Go left on Oxbow road for six miles. Continue straight where it joins Siuslaw River Road. Two miles later go left onto Wolf Creek Rd. One good climb plus another seven miles later and you are practically in Eugene (if Territorial Rd. is considered practically Eugene).
A slightly less direct route that would be the most pleasant would be to go south on Hwy 101 from Florence approximately 20 miles to Gardiner. Go east on Lower Smith River Rd. Eventually you will change to South Sister Rd which becomes Oxbow Rd, then follow the directions above. Your total trip to Eugene will be something like 110 miles, so it sounds like you might want to stay at the State campground at Reedsport and add a day. You can camp almost anywhere along the Smith River. Very low traffic once you get a few miles east of Gardiner. In fact, I have often gone the entire trip from Gardiner to Wolf Creek Rd without being passed by a car.
Good luck and have fun.
The tunnel on 126 has a "Bike In Tunnel" warning light that you can activate before going into the tunnel, use that if you go that way and cars will know you are in there. The State has been improving 126 over the last few years and the shoulder is much improved most of the way now, but the volume and speed of traffic is always a factor. For the most part it's a safe route, but not my first choice. There is a surge of traffic going to Eugene from Florence in the early morning, by 10:00 AM it settles down and is much better. Weekends on this road is very busy, don't ride it on Saturday or Sunday.
The Reedsport - Gardiner to Eugene route that B.Carfree mentions is a delight to ride, but is remote. No services are available between Gardiner and Crow (75 miles), so take food and water with you, stock up in Reedsport where there is a Safeway store. Nice camping facilities are available at Smith River Falls CG, then there are a few undeveloped campsites along the Siuslaw River and at the jail facility (closed). When I do this ride I always have a method of water purification, there is lots of surface water available but it needs treatment to be safe.
I have never had the nerve to go past the "do not enter...authorized personnel only... yada, yada" signs at the Sheriff's Forest Work Camp. I know there is someone in there because she/he has passed me on the way several times. In spite of the signs, do you know if the sheriffs department okay with people riding on in to ask for water? I'd rather go thirsty than deal with an angry deputy.
It never hurts to ask, the jail isn't operating, so no security issue. I wouldn't hesitate to ask if I saw someone there, if I needed help. The campsite I used is across the road from the jail in the clearing. You'll see a dirt road going into the woods, we stayed at that road in sight of the paved road. Up the dirt road is a nice stream for water, we used a pump filter and had all we needed. The Sheriff did come over to the camp to say hi and see what was up, but it was very friendly and he was fine with us camping there.
I'm not sure where you are by now, but if you are north of Lincoln City I have a tip for you. Just after you go through Neskowin OR you'll come to Otis, on highway 18 just before Lincoln City. The Otis Cafe is worth a stop. The breakfast is great and pies are hand made there using fresh Oregon fruit. Excellent place.
I hope you tour is going well, the Oregon Coast make a beautiful trip!
08-14-10, 03:33 PM
I rode from the Maple Lane RV park in Mapleton, to the Eugene Airport, via 36 just yesterday. Traffic wasn't very heavy, and there were only a couple of places where I wished my gearing was a bit lower. :rolleyes: There are not many places along the route to refill your water bottles (until Richardson Park), but was usually able to do so at one of the stores, following the purchase of a snack.;)
How soon are you going to be making the trip? Also, how loaded do you plan to be? I was on a self-contained, four day trip, and that made for a rough final day.:commute:
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