Length: 24.2 miles
This ride has it all: climbing steep dunes south of Florence; playing around in fluffy, sandy hills; traveling along packed sand on the shoreline; and more. For directions and map details, follow the self-guided Ride with GPS map.
Don’t have a fat bike? No need to worry. The nearest spot to rent fat bikes is in Newport at Bike Newport. Plan this ride based on which way the wind is blowing. You’ll want the wind at your back on the beach, and then ride on the road back into the wind. For this ride, we started in the south, traveled the beach north, then took the road back to our car.
To get this ride underway, we headed down to the Off Highway Vehicles (OHV) area south of Florence. You can pick up a $5 parking pass if you’re leaving a car behind. Park in any of the designated lots and make your way to the trailhead as noted on the map (just east of the Lagoon Campground).
We started by heading down the sandy two-track road. (Note that this section may require that you hike your bike in sections as the soft sand can be very difficult to ride.) We headed past the lake and pushed our bikes up the really steep backside of the dunes. After we broke a considerable sweat, we found ourselves at the top of the OHV dune area. When in this area, keep in mind that motorized vehicles will be sporting around and it’s hard for them to see over the dunes. Listen for them, move out of the way, and be sure to place yourself in their line of sight whenever possible. We spent some time exploring, then headed toward the ocean to continue our ride, and eventually came to a two-track path that led us to the beach.
After conquering the final dune, we headed north along the shoreline. It’s important to note that this beach is also an OHV area, so be aware of high-speed motor vehicles. The beach becomes more remote as the peninsula thins toward the tip and tidal pools make beautiful patterns. If you’d like to get your feet wet, choose your line stomping through the puddles, creating your own mark. We knew we’d reached the northernmost point when we met the Suislaw River. We did not cross the river—instead, we rode southeast from the southern edge to the parking lot, which led us to the road and south, back to our car.
Don’t have a fat bike? Not to fear, Bike Newport has you covered.
Where to Eat
- Nature’s Corner Cafe: Fuel up for the ride with a healthy food selection that does the body good.
- The Waterfront Depot: Enjoy classic ocean flavors at this super popular beachfront restaurant.
Where to Stay
- River House Inn: This picturesque hotel is in the heart of old-town Florence, right on the river.
- Driftwood Shores Resort: Find everything you could imagine in a hotel, right on the ocean.