Scenic Bikeways

Scenic Bikeway routes are some of the best bike rides in Oregon and showcase beautiful scenery, state history and local communities. They run past state parks on paved paths and roads, cross mountain passes and high desert plains, and meander through lush farmlands and covered bridges spanning sparkling streams. The Oregon Scenic Bikeway program is the first of its kind in the country with official state-designated routes, printable maps and on-road signage.

Find the right bikeway for you with our rating system: Mild, Moderate, Challenging, and Extreme.

Mild

Fun, casual rides appropriate for nearly everyone. The traffic is light and the terrain is mostly flat.

Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway -- 35-mile loop, map and cue sheet

Features covered bridges, lake views and colorful foliage in the fall. The ride passes through the historic Cottage Grove downtown and includes 17 miles of travel on a paved off-road path with a few road crossings and one out-and-back section.

Best season to ride: year round (with some rain gear in the winter). Video: https://youtu.be/c1-Za-HG5AQ

 

Moderate

Rides that aren't for beginners, but aren't a major undertaking for those who ride regularly.

Madras Mountain Views -- 30 miles round trip, map and cue sheet

The route starts in Madras, a small town with hotels, a craft beer pub and several restaurants. As you ride along the rim overlooking Lake Billy Chinook, look for the basalt palisades and seven spectacular peaks in the Cascade Mountain Range.

Best season to ride: spring-fall; very hot in the summer; possible winter riding, but check for snow.
Video: https://youtu.be/tPMvnzvP4T0

 

Sisters to Smith Rock -- 37 miles one way, map and cue sheet

Roll by pastures of grazing alpacas silhouetted against the snow-covered Cascade Mountains on your way to Smith Rock State Park, famous for its multi-colored rock formations. The elevation gain or loss is about the same from either direction. The route starts in downtown Sisters and passes through Terrebonne.

Best season to ride: spring through fall. Video: https://youtu.be/axm1Ac2STV4

 

Twin Bridges Loop -- 36-mile loop, map and cue sheet

The ride is a showcase of Central Oregon’s snowcapped Cascade Mountains, rimrock canyons, high desert terrain and the Deschutes River. The route starts in bustling downtown Bend and passes through the small town of Tumalo.

Best season to ride: spring through fall. Video: https://youtu.be/RRGS2TUQ0Mk


 

Tualatin Valley -- 50 miles one way, map and cue sheet

Leave the urban setting of Hillsboro and quickly enter the lush Tualatin River basin, which is dotted with wetlands, small forests, vineyards and views of the Coast Range. The ride passes through Forest Grove. Half of the bikeway is on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, a paved path leading to the small town of Vernonia.

Best season to ride: year-round with rain gear in the winter. Video: https://youtu.be/GawMkdjJsYw

 

Willamette Valley -- 135 miles one way, map and cue sheet

Cycle through one of the most productive and beautiful agricultural valleys in the world known for pinot noir wine grapes, hops for brewing beer, hazelnuts and marion berries. This mostly flat route passes through Salem, Albany and Brownsville.

Best season to ride: year round with rain gear in the winter.
 

 

Wild Rivers Coast -- 60 miles out and back, map and cue sheet

Views from the ride include the wild and scenic designated Elk River, lush cranberry bogs, towering basalt sea stacks and vast ocean views. Start your tour in the quaint fishing hamlet of Port Orford, the oldest town on the Oregon coast, with locally owned hotels, restaurants and eclectic art galleries.

Best season to ride: year round; some sunny days in mid-winter. Video: https://youtu.be/Ry9g0iwIsdA

 

Challenging

Perfect experiences for cyclists looking for good, hard rides that involve a combination of mileage and climbing. Casual cyclists will not enjoy these rides.

Grande Tour -- 134-mile loop, map and cue sheet

This ride is the grande tour of mountain ranges including eastern Oregon's Eagle Cap Mountains, the Elkhorn Ranger, the Blue Mountains and the Wallowa Mountains. The towns of LaGrande, Baker City, Union and North Powder are spaced perfectly to stop for supplies or for the night.

Best season to ride: spring through fall, although mid-summer can be very hot. Video: https://youtu.be/gnQZprZKOuE

 

Old West -- 174-mile loop, map and cue sheet

Start in John Day at the Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, now a museum but once a general store, an apothecary and a religious center. The museum is a snapshot of the Chinese immigrant experience in the 19th and 20th century American west. Cycle past the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness and the Fossil Beds National Monument.

Best season to ride: spring through fall; although mid-summer can be very hot. Video: https://youtu.be/ZSVYwzk9q78
 

Cascading Rivers -- 70-mile one way, map and cue sheet

Ride along the Clackamas and Breitenbush rivers from Estacada to Detroit with very little but wilderness, rivers and trees along the route.

Best season to ride: Late spring through early fall; road closes each winter due to snow. Video:
https://youtu.be/WiN_mpJ_r_s

 

 

Extreme

The epic journey-type rides. Cyclists had better be in top shape, able to climb like a mountain goat and go all day.

Blue Mountain Century -- 108-mile loop, map and cue sheet

This is one century ride that you won't want complete in a single day. Be ready for big hills and a total elevation gain of 8,000 feet. Starting in Heppner with Ukiah at the halfway mark, this route is remote and includes breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains.

Best season to ride: Early summer and fall; mid-summer can be very hot. Winter snow closes a section. Video: https://youtu.be/IPI5nc0F2iY

 

Cascade Siskiyou -- 55-mile loop, map and cue sheet

A steep and winding 5000-foot climb through oak savannah into fir forests showcases this ecologically diverse ecosystem. The route opens to spectacular views of the Bear Creek Valley and Pilot Rock, a 25-million-year-old volcanic plug. The ride starts in Ashland, famous for theater and outdoor recreation.

Best season to ride: spring through fall. Video: https://youtu.be/VvQ-7ordj1M

 

McKenzie Pass -- 35 miles one way, map and cue sheet

Start in Sisters, and follow an 1860s wagon route that includes views of Mt. Washington and lava flows. The steep descent to Belknap Hot springs switchbacks through dense, verdant Cascadian forests. This bikeway is closed to motor vehicles each spring for car-free riding.

Best season to ride: summer and fall. Road closes due to snow each winter. Video: https://youtu.be/F1PZ8OG_S_I

 

Oregon Outback -- 89 miles loop with an out and back, map and cue sheet

Nestled in the beautiful Warner Mountains, the route starts in Lakeview and is nestled in the beautiful Warner Mountains, located where the forests meet the High Desert basin and range. Ride past gorgeous lakes and chance to see pronghorn antelope, wetland birds, bighorn sheep and sage grouse.

Best season to ride: early spring through fall.

 

Painted Hills -- 130-mile loop with several out and backs, map and cue sheet

Meander through the multi-colored John Day Fossil Beds, which connects the small communities of Fossil, Service Creek, Spray and Mitchell and the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Viewed from your bicycle seat, you can see millions of years of geology revealed in the layers of earth, one color at a time.

Best season to ride: late spring through fall.