Guest Author | 06/01/2022 | Outdoor Recreation

Take a Spin on a Scenic Bikeway

Corvallis is a bike town. The network of bicycle lanes and paths that cross and surround the city is extensive. There are so many, in fact, that the city has a map for that.

But sometimes it’s good to get out of town, stretch the bike legs and see the countryside. It’s easy to do here because an excellent cycling route – Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway – runs right along the river.

The scenic bikeway, one of 17 officially designated routes across Oregon, extends from Champoeg State Park south to Armitage Park near Eugene. It follows the Willamette River basin much of the way, passing through Keizer, Salem and Albany before slipping near the east side of Corvallis. That’s 134 miles of roads the state’s Parks and Recreation Department linked together to give cyclists a good feel for this area. This bikeway was the first one established by the state and became the prototype for all the others to showcase each area’s natural beauty and create the best cycling experience. 

How does a cyclist find the scenic bikeway? Head to downtown Corvallis, grab something to eat, fill the water bottles and then head east on NW Van Buren Avenue, over the bridge and on to a bike path on the north edge of Highway 34.  Want to head south? Ride about three miles and turn south on White Oak Road. Interested in riding toward Albany? Continue another quarter mile on the bike path and turn north on Riverside Drive and then follow the scenic bikeway signs.

Heading South

The next 10 miles pass through flat farm country and reach Peoria Park along the river before heading east on Fayetteville Drive. The adventurous can continue another five miles to Thompson Mills State Heritage Site (the last water-powered mill in Oregon), push on to Brownsville or all the way to the bikeway’s end south of Coburg. 

Heading North

There are eight miles equally of flat country roads between Corvallis and downtown Albany. Find a comfortable gear and spin your way along Riverside and Bryant drives. Signs for Bryant Park and Monteith Riverpark in Albany will be visible in no time. Interested in a few more miles? The scenic bikeway makes its way north to Jefferson, the Buena Vista Ferry and Ankeny National Wildlife Refuge before arriving in Salem.

See for Yourself

Information about the entire Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway, including map and elevation information, is available online. A map and cue sheet explaining all road turns is available for download.

Looking to Stay in Town?

If country riding seems a bit extreme, consider riding from Riverfront Park in downtown Corvallis. Start by getting a copy of the Corvallis & Benton County Bicycle Guide (pick up a print copy in our visitor center, if you prefer). Follow the bike path south for about a half mile and then decide where you want to go next. Ride south and find Crystal Lake Sports Park and Willamette Park. Or, head west toward Avery Park. The map will clearly illustrate that no matter which direction you choose the city’s bike system provides miles of paths.

Article by Dan Shryock. Photo by Reed Lane Photography. Keep up with Corvallis news, events and happenings by signing up for our email newsletter.

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