Road Trip: McKenzie River Valley

A string of riverside communities greets the wild and oh-so-scenic McKenzie River as it drains down from the Cascade Mountains and tumbles west toward Eugene.

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: Greg Vaughn

Walterville

One of several gems strung along the McKenzie River Highway, Walterville is located just east of Springfield in the foothills of the Cascade Range.

Bird-watchers flock to the Walterville Reservoir — surrounded by fields and forests — to see herons, grebes and osprey while anglers cast lines from the banks. Visit the award-winning McKenzie River Trail for epic mountain biking and hiking opportunities and you might find a waterfall too.

Trip Ideas

  • Ride the McKenzie River Trail
    The only major controversy surrounding the McKenzie River Trail (MRT) is whether it is the best mountain bike trail in Oregon or the whole country. When I worked in a bike shop years ago, I... More
    Peter Frick-Wright, Guest Author
  • Cultural Oregon: Covered Bridges
    Our Oregon heritage offers cultural travelers an opportunity to step back in time, and covered bridges illustrate some of the most iconic cultural elements of our state. Covered to increase their lifespan, the bridges today... More
  • A Beginner’s GeoTour
    Editor's note: Our Ask Oregon ambassador Cari Soong recently explored the new Eugene, Cascades & Coast GeoTour. After traveling to six of the 36 sites, hiking four miles and taking dozens of photos, we asked... More
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