Heart of Oregon – Coast to the High Desert

by Wendy on May 11, 2017

The Heart of Oregon
Bridging Oregon from the Coast to the High Desert

 Lane County

Covered Bridges
Known as the Covered Bridge Capital of the West, Cottage Grove claims six classic wooden spans, many listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The South Willamette Valley’s backdrop of the idyllic countryside, lakes and stream only adds to the bridges’ photographic appeal. The Eugene, Cascades & Coast region boasts a total of 20 covered bridges, more than any county west of the Mississippi.

Cycling / Mountain Biking
When cyclists roll into the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region they connect with pedal power! With the sparkling Pacific coastline, gentle hills of the Willamette Valley, and thrilling Cascade Mountain Range, Lane County’s climate and topography is aptly suited for cycling. Home to three of Oregon’s official scenic bikeways and Oakridge’s mountain biking trails, known world-wide, this region is a delight to see from a bicycle seat.

Dunes (Horseback Riding)
For a classic western adventure, few experiences equal that of saddling up a horse and hitting the trail. And few places in the country compares to the variety of terrain to explore in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region, whether galloping on the beach, climbing along a mountain trial or visiting an historic ranch.

Hiking / Trails
There’s a reason hikers are always smiling in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region. On any given day nature lovers can take their pick from hundreds of miles of trails and a striking amount of natural diversity. Along the coast, windswept headlands overlook crashing breakers. Hikes into the Cascades reveal old-growth forests and snow-capped volcanoes. Nature escapes can even be found right in town.

Changing season by season from modest cascades to roaring plunges and back again, it’s easy to see why waterfalls create moments that lodge in the heart. The Eugene, Cascades & Coast region is home to countless secret forest stunners. They set the stage for particularly dramatic waterfall adventures, even in winter. But during the colder months, check before you go to ensure the falls are accessible.

Fantastic performing arts companies dot the Eugene, Cascades & Coast area as well. Whether it’s a weekend show of the symphony or a night out at the local theater, venues across Lane County are thriving with new acts every month.

Deschutes County

Dee Wright Observatory
Settled atop vast, black lava flows, at the summit of the McKenzie Highway (Oregon 242), you’ll find Dee Wright Observatory. This mountain observatory offers panoramic views of the Mount Washington and Three Sisters Wilderness areas. As you make your way up to the observatory you will find interpretive panels with accounts of early travelers and area geology.

Smith Rock
Smith Rock State Park is located in central Oregon’s High Desert near the communities of Redmond and Terrebonne. The park has many miles of developed trails for hiking. The trails have viewpoints along the routes that overlook the Crooked River and nearby rock formations. The park and campground are open year-round.  Day-use visitor hours are from dawn to dusk.

Sisters is the small town with a western feel. Visit and walk the unique shops along main street and stop for a treat at Sisters Bakery. Sisters is home to the world-famous Quilt Show and Rodeo. The area is also home to several mountain biking trails, including the Peterson Ridge Trail and Suttle Lake trails.

High Desert Museum / Bend
High Desert Museum is a must for all ages. Get a close-up view of native wildlife such as river otters, bobcat, porcupine and badger. Talk with historic characters who share tales of early Oregon explorers and settlers. Visit an authentic homestead and sawmill from 1904. Experience a close encounter with owls, falcons, hawks and even a vulture. Learn about Native American culture and history.

Crooked River Ranch / Terrebonne
Crooked River Ranch is located between the Deschutes River and the Crooked River in north Deschutes County. It is in close proximity to Bureau of Land Management ATV trails, rock climbing, skiing, boating, fishing and more! Central Oregon has so much to offer for anyone who wants to enjoy the great outdoors.

Old Mill District / Bend
The Old Mill District is located in the heart of Bend along the Deschutes River. Once the center of Bend’s thriving lumber mill operations, it is now a beautiful and vibrant mixed-use area filled with restaurants, a movie theater, local shops, live music and water sports.










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