Willamette River bike trail, Eugene

4.7
#1 of 10 in Outdoors in Eugene
The Willamette River is a major tributary of the Columbia River, accounting for 12 to 15 percent of the Columbia's flow. The Willamette's main stem is 187mi long, lying entirely in northwestern Oregon in the United States. Flowing northward between the Oregon Coast Range and the Cascade Range, the river and its tributaries form the Willamette Valley, a basin that contains two-thirds of Oregon's population, including the state capital, Salem, and the state's largest city, Portland, which surrounds the Willamette's mouth at the Columbia.
Originally created by plate tectonics about 35 million years ago and subsequently altered by volcanism and erosion, the river's drainage basin was significantly modified by the Missoula Floods at the end of the most recent ice age. Humans began living in the watershed over 10,000 years ago. There were once many tribal villages along the lower river and in the area around its mouth on the Columbia. Indigenous peoples lived throughout the upper reaches of the basin as well.
Rich with sediments deposited by flooding and fed by prolific rainfall on the western side of the Cascades, the Willamette Valley is one of the most fertile agricultural regions in North America, and was thus the destination of many 19th-century pioneers traveling west along the Oregon Trail. The river was an important transportation route in the 19th century, although Willamette Falls, just upstream from Portland, was a major barrier to boat traffic. In the 21st century, major highways follow the river, and roads cross it on more than 50 bridges.
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Willamette River bike trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
460 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We were very lucky to find this trail. It is all off road that goes along both sides of Willamette River. The trail is easy ride with great views. We did 18 miles and enjoyed entire trip. We are trave...  more »
  • This is by far my favorite run, walk, or bike trail. The scenery is spectacular and inspiring around every corner, with lots of palces to stop and just enjoy the river, or have a picnic.  more »

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