: Hayward Field by Joey Hamilton

Wellness Getaway to Eugene

April 28, 2021

Editor’s note:Oregon’s COVID-19 restrictions have eased, but businesses may ask you to wear a face cover – bring one along and be patient and kind if asked to wear it. It’s also wildfire season – plan ahead and do your part to prevent wildfires.

If you’re planning a trip to Eugene for the U.S. Olympic Team Track & Field Trials (scheduled for June 18-27, 2021)  or the World Athletics Championships Oregon 22 (July 15-24, 2022) in the new state-of-the-art Hayward Field, you probably already have an appreciation for healthy living. Close to nature yet with all the conveniences of a vibrant, funky and eclectic city, Eugene is the perfect place for an extended stay with your pod. You can find lodging focused on wellness, sample fresh locally sourced foods, and get active in the lush, green outdoors that earned Eugene the nickname Emerald City. Here are some tips for planning a wellness getaway that will complement your time cheering on those world-class athletes. 

Advertisements

Rejuvenate in Nature

Whether you’re into biking, hiking, running or walking, the Eugene area has you covered with an extensive selection of paths and trails. The trick is to find those that are less populated, but luckily you have plenty of options to choose from. Keep in mind that the McKenzie River area recently experienced a wildfire, so do your research as many of the hikes in that area are closed, and learn about ways you can help. Here’s how to show your love to McKenzie River-area communities

With its longstanding affinity for running, there are a number of trails dedicated to just that and the trick is finding the less-explored trails. The Middle Fork Path in Springfield is a lesser-known, 4-mile paved pathway perfect for walking or biking to many viewpoints and parks. It also connects to the Mill Race Path, so you can easily make your excursion into a fun 8-mile loop. South of town, the 14-mile paved Row River Trail is a cyclist’s dream. The trail starts in Cottage Grove and follows an abandoned railroad line, passing Dorena Lake and three covered bridges along the way. Another good option is the Fern Ridge Path, 9.6 miles of paved trail that winds through the wetlands west of Eugene. For a gorgeous hike any time of year, head to the Ridgeline Trail System, a 12-mile path crowned by Spencer Butte, the city’s highest point. Ridgeline has some great bite-size sections, including an out-and-back from Wild Iris Ridge Park filled with wildflowers. If waterfalls are more your thing, check out the easy 1-mile hike to Moon Falls or the moderate 3.7-mile hike to Kentucky Falls, both south of Eugene. 

A waterfall cascades down mossy rock.
It’s an easy 1-mile hike to Moon Falls, located south of Eugene. (Photo by Sally McAleer / Eugene, Cascades & Coast)
A young cyclist pedals past a lake to a tree-covered path.
The 14-mile Row river Trail is part of the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway. (Photo by Taj Morgan / EugeneCascadesCoast.org)

Fuel Your Body

Having embraced the organic-food movement long before it was trendy, Eugene’s food scene has a wide array of restaurants that serve up everything your body needs. Vegetarian restaurant Morning Glory Cafe, in the Market District, is a Eugene staple for healthy, from-scratch breakfast, sourced with organic produce, non-GMO oils, naturally nested eggs and fair-trade coffee. For a midday refresh, stop into nearby Nourish Juice for a cold-pressed juice, smoothie or power shot using fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. They also have a menu of noodle bowls and small plates made from locally sourced ingredients. For a nourishing lunch, check out the salads and bowls at Veg Salad Craft downtown. Stay in the area for dinner at the award-winning Cafe Soriah, known for its selection of high-quality meats, seafood and vegetables in its Mediterranean-inspired dishes. 

A bedroom at the Gordon Hotel looks cozy.
Unleash your creativity at The Gorden Hotel, filled with art-centric decor and opportunities to create art. (Photo courtesy of The Gorden Hotel)

Restful Retreat

Perfectly situated for a car-free weekend, the newly constructed, art-centric Gordon Hotel gives you walkable access to everything you need for a delightful getaway. The hotel is steps away from the newly expanded Fifth Street Public Market, which features many of Eugene’s iconic shops and eateries and plenty of outdoor seating. The market is a few blocks away from Skinner Butte Park and the Owen Rose Garden. The Valley River Inn is located right along the Willamette River and the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System, a wide, paved path ideal for a morning jog or an evening stroll. The EVEN Hotel offers a wellness package that features an in-room training zone, mood lighting and eucalyptus linens. It’s close to the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium and Alton Baker Park, an expansive greenspace that is also the center of a model solar system. If you’re in need of an extra dose of relaxation — like an aromatherapy massage or cleansing facial — recharge at any one of Eugene’s excellent day spas

Two runners jog past Autzen Stadium.
Pre's Trail, named after Steve Prefontaine, runs through Alton Baker Park next to Autzen Stadium. (Photo by Melanie Griffin / EugeneCascadesCoast.org)

If You Go:

About The
Author

Emily Gillespie
Emily Gillespie is a travel writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, CNN Travel and Afar magazine. She’s lived in three of Oregon’s seven regions, currently calling Portland home. She and her husband look for every opportunity to hike to a view, bike through wine country and eat their way through a new city.

Trip Ideas