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Routes from Portland to Eugene?

Old 02-13-12, 08:37 PM
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Routes from Portland to Eugene?

Hello to the Pacific Northwest from Central California! We are riding the STP this summer and then continuing our ride all the way home to California. We are considering riding from Portland to Eugene and then cutting over to the coast to Florence. Any tips on the best route to take from Portland to Eugene or any routes to avoid? Thanks!
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Old 02-13-12, 10:22 PM
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Portland to Ewwwgene is well traveled and well-mapped. My wife and I did it a couple years ago as our first self-supported tour. For most of the way, follow the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway: https://www.oregon.gov/OPRD/PARKS/BIKE/WVSB_main.shtml and you can ride it in your sleep.

Seriously- you want to go back to Fresno?
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Old 02-14-12, 09:18 AM
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Yes, Jeff's link is a good way to go. I wonder why they direct you off Peoria Road and to Brownsville, that's out of the way, but quiet roads I guess. I would suggest instead to stay on Peoria Road to Harrisburg ( there is a good Thai cafe there ), then find Powerline road (one mile east of Harrisburg) and take Powerline into Coburg. Then it's Coburg Road into Eugene.

Avoid Highway 99 south of Portland Metro area. Lot's of truck traffic and limited shoulders.
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Old 02-14-12, 05:37 PM
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Here's the route I follow. (You'll have to reverse it.) https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/43128524
Just pick your time of day to avoid trouble in Lake Oswego (ugh). LO is basically just a commuter suburb and the only problem area is just south of town, so you shouldn't have any trouble as long as you don't get there at 7:00 A.M. Check the hours of the Canby ferry so you don't get there too early. I enjoy riding from PDX to EUG much better when I leave early enough to arrive in Eugene before the commuters are driving back from Corvallis. You should have nothing but tailwinds after 11:00 A.M., so the miles roll by quickly.

From Eugene, I strongly recommend you skip Florence and go to Reedsport instead. I've ridden to Reedsport from Eugene quite often and have had many trips where I didn't get passed by a car until I was only a few miles from the ocean. Here's a link with a route: https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/31073976/ It's kind of like a very long bike route. In fact, the last sixty miles of this was featured on last year's Cycle Oregon.
Take it easy on the second descent on Wolf Creek Rd; the turns are sharper than you would expect and there can be a bit of debris. Also, there are a couple of pavement defects on the right side of the road on the descent of Oxbow, so stay under control there too. There are no services once you leave Eugene until you get to the coast. Well, there is one store/bar about fifteen miles from the coast, but I wouldn't depend on it being open. If you have a water filter, there are plenty of creeks and you could always filter water from the Siuslaw or Smith Rivers. In fact, bring a water filter, otherwise you are going to have to carry all your water for the day over those first three climbs. If you don't want to do a 90 mile day, you can camp almost anywhere along the Smith River up until you are about 30 miles from the coast. There is also an alternate, slightly longer route that takes you by a campground, https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/50624968
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Old 02-14-12, 05:47 PM
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Agreed the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway would be a good way to cover that stretch.

Getting to Champoeg might be a little interesting. A Portlander will probably have better idea on how to accomplish that. There is a bike path along the east side of the Willamette that might be utilized for part of that stretch to Champoeg.

Where do you plan to start from in Portland? Do you plan on stopping (camping?/hotel?) before Eugene?
I'm assuming there's a reason for waiting until Eugene to head over? Once you get to Eugene do you plan on using the Smith River Byway?
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Old 02-14-12, 06:09 PM
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Check out the suggestions in an earlier thread https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...land-to-Eugene
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Old 02-14-12, 09:56 PM
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"Seriously- you want to go back to Fresno?"
Nope, we don't want to ever leave Oregon when we visit but figure Oregon doesn't need any more Californians relocating there. We always emphasize we are from Central California - we grow the fruits and nuts, we are NOT the fruits and nuts.

We are starting from downtown Portland after the STP. We're taking a one day breather after the STP and leaving Portland Tuesday a.m. We plan to stop somewhere along the way to Eugene. We have 30 days for the trip so we're not in a huge hurry. No special reason why we're heading to Eugene first - we enjoy the scenery on the drive on I5 and thought it would be fun to bike through that area.

Thank you so much for the great info! This will be our first cross county and we're pretty excited about it.
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Old 02-14-12, 11:04 PM
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Re Eugene to Florence, how is state route 36 north of Eugene to Florence?
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Old 02-14-12, 11:33 PM
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Route 36 is a beautiful route, but the road lacks shoulders. It's not a bad ride if you time it right, traffic can be pretty light, avoid weekends and start early on weekdays. I also prefer the Smith River route from Eugene to the coast, but 36 is my second choice.
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Old 02-14-12, 11:58 PM
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The Smith River route is the best cycling you'll ever do. It's that nice. Locals take this route to the coast and tourists take hwy36. I really enjoy riding out there and do a lot of 200 and 300 km rides in what is known as the Oregon and California lands (O&C), of which this is a part. (Much of the land between Crow and Reedsport was given to a railroad company in exchange for building a rail line between OR and CA. They didn't build it so the land reverted to the federal government.)

If you really want to go to Florence, my second choice for a route to the coast is to start along the Smith River Route shown by two others above, but at Alma turn right and continue down the Siuslaw River. You can't miss Alma, it consists of a fork in the road with a giant map of the O&C. Twenty-five miles later you cross under hwy126 and cross the river on the Wildcat covered bridge. Do three miles of gravel road (Richardson Upriver), then three miles of paved road (Stagecoach), followed by eight miles of gravel road to Swiss Home. Turn west on hwy36 to Mapleton and take hwy126 on into Florence. There are no services between Eugene and Mapleton, but I can probably arrange a nice meadow for you to stay in on private property about a mile into Stagecoach Rd., where I used to live. There's also an old house site a few miles further down the road where my former neighbors sold out to Roseburg lumber. The house is gone, but it would be a nice place to camp along the creek.

Be sure to check out the maps and other resources at the ODOT site for your ride down the coast. I really like the list of state campgrounds and their amenities. It's nice to know where that next cheap hot shower is. Also, be sure to check in with the CA parks dept. to find out which campgrounds have survived the budget showdown. I just hate it when I am counting on a campground and it is closed up.
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Old 02-15-12, 12:35 PM
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Originally Posted by aviatrix58
"Seriously- you want to go back to Fresno?"
Nope, we don't want to ever leave Oregon when we visit but figure Oregon doesn't need any more Californians relocating there. We always emphasize we are from Central California - we grow the fruits and nuts, we are NOT the fruits and nuts.

We are starting from downtown Portland after the STP. We're taking a one day breather after the STP and leaving Portland Tuesday a.m. We plan to stop somewhere along the way to Eugene. We have 30 days for the trip so we're not in a huge hurry. No special reason why we're heading to Eugene first - we enjoy the scenery on the drive on I5 and thought it would be fun to bike through that area.

Thank you so much for the great info! This will be our first cross county and we're pretty excited about it.
You'll have a blast!

The Smith River Route is a favorite of mine. The Nestucca River Byway is a close second.
https://www.blm.gov/or/resources/recr...ca%20River.pdf The advantage to taking the Nestucca River route would be finding a decent campground on that first day. I'm sure you could figure out something for camping in the Willamette Valley south of Champoeg, but it'll be a little tougher and may involve stealth camping.

Another choice involves heading over near Corvallis. Head south of Philomath and cut up and over to the Alsea Falls Campground at the locality of Alpine. From the small town of Alsea take Lobster Valley Rd to the Alsea Highway. The campground near Alsea Falls is quiet and there's potable water and flush toilets.

You'll have a great time what ever route you choose!

Last edited by mtnbud; 02-16-12 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 02-16-12, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by aviatrix58
"Seriously- you want to go back to Fresno?"
Nope, we don't want to ever leave Oregon when we visit but figure Oregon doesn't need any more Californians relocating there. We always emphasize we are from Central California - we grow the fruits and nuts, we are NOT the fruits and nuts.

We are starting from downtown Portland after the STP. We're taking a one day breather after the STP and leaving Portland Tuesday a.m. We plan to stop somewhere along the way to Eugene. We have 30 days for the trip so we're not in a huge hurry. No special reason why we're heading to Eugene first - we enjoy the scenery on the drive on I5 and thought it would be fun to bike through that area.

Thank you so much for the great info! This will be our first cross county and we're pretty excited about it.
Yeah, my wife and I moved up here after growing up in Southern California. (Ventura and South Pasadena.) Every once in a while we go back and remind ourselves why we left.
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