One of the bike rides we wanted to do while in the Eugene area was the Row River Rail Trail, starting in nearby Cottage Grove. Since the trail is less than 16 miles long one way, Barry wanted to get some additional mileage, so decided to ride the 22 miles from our motel in Eugene to Cottage Grove, while I drove down and met him in town.
He actually beat me to College Grove (of course I left a bit later!) and had time to take a few photos when he got here. He learned that Cottage Grove is the Covered Bridge Capital of Oregon -- cool. We'd get to see one of them later in our ride.
And he took a few minutes to ride through the charming historic district.
We saw yellow bike racks just like this in Key West!
I parked at a nearby city park, and we pedaled over to the trailhead together. We had a beautiful day for it!
Here's a map of the Row River Trail. All the sections marked as (Proposed) on the map are now complete and paved.
After starting in the city, we soon reached this lush, green forest and a long, gentle climb. This would be a cooling place to ride on a hot summer's day.
We rode alongside pretty and peaceful Dorena Lake for quite awhile.
There are some big hills in the distance, but fortunately none we had to ride over. Barry did have one major climb on his way down to Cottage Grove, though.
Before we knew it, we'd reached the Trail's End in Culp Creek. Time to turn around!
The Row River trail is part of the Oregon Scenic Bikeways program -- the only one of its kind in the nation. Yes, Oregon is a cyclist's paradise, at least when it's not rainy!
On the way back, we took a detour onto Row River Road for a short distance as it was also part of the Scenic Bikeway. What a lovely stretch this was with almost zero traffic, and it led to a nice surprise!
This sign hinted at what we'd soon find....
One of Cottage Grove's covered bridges! And a very pretty one at that.
It was the Dorena Covered bridge, built in 1949. We enjoyed riding through it even though it didn't really go anywhere other than crossing the Row River.
I see now from studying the map above that we could have seen a couple of additional covered bridges by taking other short detours off the trail. Too bad I didn't look at the map until after we rode the trail. D'oh!
After completing the trail and the little extra on the road, I ended up with 35 miles and was ready to head back to Eugene. Barry set off on his bike to pedal back. He wanted to get a full century (100 miles) on the day, so he checked out a bit of the University of Oregon on his way back.
And the Eugene Pioneer Cemetery adjacent to the campus.
And this mural depicting logging activities in the area.
Barry got his 100 miles, I had a nice, easy ride, and we enjoyed some wonderful food that night.
Stay tuned for more from our last day in Eugene!
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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