I just got back from a weekend trip and figured I'd post a report for any of you who are in Oregon who may be interested. I took my brother on his first overnight tour, so I wanted to find a good two day route that was scenic and on low traffic paved roads.
Day 1; 70 miles: We parked the truck at a hotel in Cottage Grove and headed towards Cottage Grove Reservoir. At 3 miles out, we took a private road owned by Weyerhaeuser which is open to bikes and pedestrians on weekends. (No cars allowed). 13 miles later, a left turn brought us to a rough, low traffic BLM road named Big River. At mile 28 and a sharp right hand turn, a suffer-fest began with a very steep unrelenting 8 mile climb. I bonked near the 2nd mile of climbing and cursed the fact I hadn't stopped to eat at Cottage Grove Reservoir. Once to the top, there was a tricky turn about 2 miles down onto Rock Creek Road which eventually brought us to the Umpqua River and the convenience store at Idleyld Park. (We would've rode 3 miles in the wrong direction to Glide for a restaurant dinner, but we were both dog tired.) 12 miles later, it was showers and camping at Susan Creek Campground.
Day 2; 60 miles: After a good breakfast, we headed east along the Umpqua river past Steamboat and a left turn onto Steamboat Creek Rd. About 1/2 mile later another left hand turn brought us to Canton Creek road and eventually a rest stop at Scaredman Creek Recreation Area. BLM's website said there was drinking water available, but the water was turned off. A few more miles up Canton Creek brought another tough climb, but nothing like the climb from yesterday. At the top, a right turn on Martin Creek road began a very steep, twisty downhill to Sharps Creek Road. Once we met the junction with Row River Rd, we bought ice cream at Dorena and enjoyed the 15 miles back to Cottage Grove on the Row River Rail Trail.
The route definitely has possibilities for someone who's willing to work hard. The majority of the route was very scenic with very little traffic. It wasn't the most enjoyable trip for my brother and I due to the 90 degree heat and the bonking I experienced on Day 1. Be prepared for that first climb on Big River - I should've taken time to eat before the climb and been willing to take some breaks during the climb. The climb on the second day could also be tough, but we were ready for that one.
Route Descriptions from the Website www.Oregonmotorcyclist.com: