In the city of Roseburg along the beautiful South Umpqua River is the Roseburg Park Loop bike path. This paved 3.1-mile bike path goes through several local parks and is easy enough for families and all skill levels. The adventure begins near the restroom facilities in Stewart Park, which includes botanical gardens, a golf course, a large playground, picnic pavilions and horseshoe pits. The trail continues along the river to Riverfront Park, which hosts an 18-hole disc golf course – so come prepared for fun. Continue along the loop, and where it bends by the river, you’ll find a spur trail that winds through Gaddis Park, which features ball fields, pavilions, open grassy areas and restroom facilities. The spur trail ends at the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center downtown. Finish up at McMenamins Roseburg Station Pub & Brewery, located a few miles south, for a mouthwatering burger and a beer.
Riverfront Park. Courtesy Experience Roseburg.
Central Point to Ashland
The 20-mile Bear Creek Greenway is a car-free urban oasis starting in Central Point and heading southeast toward Talent, Phoenix and Medford before ending in Ashland. (Check for conditions before you go, since parts of the greenway have been impacted by recent wildfires.) This aptly named trail runs along the picturesque Bear Creek, offering lush greenery and charming bridges, passing through parks with restrooms, drinking fountains and parking lots for easy access to any of the sections. The wide, smoothly paved path makes it easy for families and beginners. Some sections have a painted middle line creating two lanes, which makes it safer for travel in both directions. Along the way, stop by one of the local eateries. Just off the path in Phoenix is Clyde’s Corner, offering delicious wood-fired pizza. At the south end of the trek in Ashland is Bear Creek Bicycle, where you can stop for bike gear or friendly advice.
East of Ashland is Klamath Falls and the OC&E Woods Line State Trail, a paradise for cyclists. Known as Oregon’s longest state park, this pathway is built on the old rail bed of the Oregon, California and Eastern railroad (OC&E). The rail trail follows the railroads from Klamath Falls north and east to the town of Bly, traveling through the countryside and across farmlands. The rail trail starts with the Urban Section (7.6 miles), then the Gateway Section (31 miles) and finally the Sprague River Section (24 miles). The Wood Line Section (33 miles) is a spur trail, creating a total distance of 95.6 miles.
Closest to Klamath Falls, the Urban Section is paved and usually busy with cyclists, runners and walkers. You’ll see Mt. Shasta to the south as the trail passes through farmland. In the tiny community of Olene you’ll encounter Olene Gap, a naturally formed, narrow opening in the mountains that allows just enough space for the trail, Highway 140 and the Lost River to course through. Before hitting the trail or afterward for lunch, swing by Nibbley’s Cafe for a tasty muffin or sandwich on the outdoor patio. If you need a quick tune-up or to rent a bike, head to Zach’s Bikes in Klamath Falls.
Author Danielle Hampton lives on the Oregon Coast in the small fishing town of Coos Bay. She is an avid hiker/backpacker and commercial fisherwoman. When she is not in the woods soaking up Mother Nature with her two dogs, or out in the Pacific Ocean fishing with her husband, you can find her typing away on her laptop, sharing her stories on Facebook, Instagram and her blog, Switchback Traveler.