We kicked off the weekend at Tryon Creek State Natural Area, visiting one of Oregon’s two state parks located in a major metropolitan area bordering the route, and home to over 90 varieties of wildflowers, not to mention a healthy steelhead run. With a paved bike path cutting through the park, Tryon is a great way to ease into the riding, and it’s just a quick shot down the hill into Lake Oswego. Our plan for a leisurely day started with an excellent lunch at St. Honoré Boulangerie. After sandwiches and coffee, we got back on the bikes for more pedaling.

Our route took us out of town through George Rogers Park past the historic Iron Furnace on the Willamette River (be sure to look for the historic Craftsman tug master’s house along the path) and out along the rolling Old River Road to Mary S. Young State Park, where a tree-lined path parallels the Willamette River, before looping back again. This easy, scenic circuit was a great way to start our three-day adventure. Since this ride is fairly short, even for less adventurous riders, you could also do the entire loop before heading into town, or spend a little time exploring the trails at Tryon Creek and Mary S. Young State Parks.

Once back in Lake Oswego, we checked in at the Lakeshore Inn, which sits right on the bank of Oswego Lake, with views out across the water. It’s mere steps from the Lake View Village shopping area, where we took a stroll, exploring the shopping and arts district. Generally, extensive public art is the domain of larger metropolitan areas; Lake Oswego, though, has put together an impressive rotating collection of sculpture from regionally and internationally noted artists, and distributed it throughout the downtown area for people to discover. With pieces ranging from modern and minimal to ornate and whimsical, the Gallery Without Walls is definitely worthy of a walking tour.

After an afternoon of wandering (and some ice cream), we were all ready for a serious dinner. Five Spice Seafood did not disappoint, with its creative preparations, emphasis on fresh ingredients and well-chosen wine list, complete with deftly picked, well-priced Northwest offerings. We ate well, and slept even better.

>> Go to Day Two: Cycling the Countryside
>> Go to Day Three: Cycling the Oregon Trail
>> Go to Bike On!

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