When it comes to show-stopping seascapes and world-class bicycling, it’s hard to beat the Oregon Coast. See the unique beauty of this place for yourself as we alternate between charming backcountry roads and sandy beaches.
After gathering near the bicycle-friendly town of Eugene, we’ll head north, cycling through vineyards, orchards, and Christmas tree farms. Before we know it, we’ll be riding down the craggy coastline, camping near the beach, and watching waves break against lighthouses — and we’ll almost definitely catch site of a few sea lions. Our group will also visit the coastal towns of Lincoln City, Newport, Yachats, and Florence, each with its own unique flavor.
This ride will follow rivers for much of its course, so we’ll be treated to relatively gentle grades and lush landscapes as we pedal toward our camping destination each day. Pack your tent, roll up your sleeping bag, grab your camera, and get ready for a celebration of coastal Oregon.
|Start Date:||Aug 16, 2014||End Date:||Aug 22, 2014|
|Start Location:||Eugene, OR||End Location:||Eugene, OR|
|Total Days:||7||Riding Days:||5|
|Average Daily Mileage:||62.0||Surface:||Paved|
|Tour Leader:||Pete Strause||Caterer:||KJ Productions (Kathy)|
|Meals:||Catered meals||Accommodations:||Camping, Motel Options|
|Type:||Supported||Technical Difficulty:||Easy to moderate|
|Physical Difficulty:||Intermediate||Level of Support:||Fully Supported|
We’ll meet a few miles west of Eugene at picturesque Richardson Park, located near Veneta (and the Eugene airport) on Fern Ridge Reservoir. Here, we will enjoy a scrumptious meal and have our first map meeting. The on-tour mechanic can help ready our bicycles for the road ahead, and we’ll start getting acquainted with your new companions. Be sure to check out the nearby headquarters of Co-Motion Cycles, fabricators of some of the world’s finest custom tandems and touring bikes, and Bike Friday, makers of great folding bikes!
Eugene to Corvallis, 39 miles. Today we’ll pedal north from Eugene, home of the University of Oregon, to Corvallis, location of Oregon State University, through the scenic Willamette Valley. With generally cooler temps than California, the gently rolling hills surrounding the Willamette are home to some of the best wines in the world, as well as to the William L. Finley National Wildlife Refuge, created to provide a winter habitat for dusky Canada geese.
Corvallis to Lincoln City, 75 miles. Leaving the Corvallis area, today's meandering route takes us to the town of Siletz, a fisherman's paradise located on the Siletz River. We'll then head north to the Pacific Ocean. Tonight, we'll set up camp amid the beefy, wind-sculpted trees of a beautiful state park near Lincoln City where you can explore the long expanses of pristine beach or jump into one of the nearby lakes.
Lincoln City to Waldport, 55 miles. Heading south, we’ll pass through Newport, home to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. We’ll continue down the coast past South Beach, where kayak tours of the quiet Beaver Creek wetlands are available for those looking to hop off their bikes for awhile. We’ll stop next at Seal Rock State Wayside, where you’ll want to explore the two-mile-long span of partially submerged ledge rock that attract seals, sea lions, sea birds, and a host of other critters. The wayside also includes tidal pools where you can get up close and personal with countless varieties of smaller, but no less fascinating marine life. Tonight we’ll camp at Beachside State Park where we’ll fall asleep to the hypnotic sound of crashing waves.
Waldport to Florence, 34 miles. Our group will continue down the coast as we pedal through the town of Yachats (yaw-hots). If you’re interested, you can tack an extra 18 miles onto the ride and head up the scenic Yachats River Road to see the charming North Fork of the Yachats Covered Bridge. Immediately south of Yachats is the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, where waves smashing into basaltic headlands make for some of the most spectacular surf action in the world, especially during the storms of winter. Features with descriptive names like the Devil’s Churn, Cook’s Chasm, and Spouting Horn give you some idea of what to expect. The cape also offers more than 20 miles of hiking trails that weave through old growth rain forest. Farther south we’ll visit the Heceta Head Lighthouse, built in 1894, still operational, and among the most photographed lighthouses in the world. This area contains the Sea Lion Caves attraction and good opportunities to spot sea lions and the occasional whale.
Layover day. Today, you'll have the option of riding along the beautiful North Fork of the Suislaw River, an out-and-back distance of 32 miles. If you’d prefer an off-bike day, feel free to laze about with a good book, try your hand at clamming, go bird-watching and whale-watching, take a hike, or pick up some fresh seafood in Florence and have a picnic on the beach. Also, nearby Honeyman State Park features two miles of sand dunes and two freshwater lakes where you can take a swim and go canoeing. The adjacent Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, stretching 40 miles from Florence to Coos Bay, boasts wind-sculpted sand dunes rising more the 500 feet above the ocean.
Florence to Eugene, 77 miles. This morning we'll return inland by way of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail's Florence-Eugene connector route. We'll climb aptly named Low Pass, elevation 1,023 feet, before descending back to the Willamette Valley and tour's end in Eugene. With the sea breeze still fresh in our minds, and a terrific week of cycling just behind us, we'll say goodbye to our new friends, but not to the fabulous memories that are ours to treasure forever.
"Overall I would say I most enjoyed the meals. Being a vegetarian/vegan I’ve come to expect limited variety and sometimes quality of my food. Not so for this trip. The food was superb and something different everyday. I feared that I would actually gain weight on this trip. There was always plenty food available, too. Also appreciated a good choice of local craft beers to select from in the evening to drink. It was a great way to end a good day."
2013 Tour Participant
"The best part of this tour was actually feeling like I was on vacation. Since I didn’t have to worry about where I was going, if I was going to get a mechanical issue along the way , what I was going to eat, etc. I was able to get a good night’s sleep, ride and explore at my leisure, and meet lots of people along the way . Very happy with my experience and will definitely be joining another ACA trip in the future."
2013 Tour Participant
"Being from Chicago, I am a flatlander. I love flying down hills and mountains after a long, arduous but fun climb with great scenery. Can’t experience that [in the Midwest]!"
2011 Tour Participant
"It is difficult to overstate the immense pleasure of riding a bicycle, meeting new friends, exploring new landscapes, history and culture, and simply living, all at the same time. The perspective, strength and confidence gained has value that cannot be adequately valued. “When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race."
2011 Tour Participant