Adventures in the Oakridge
Just a 35-mile scenic drive south from Eugene is the tiny town of Oakridge. The population is 3320, but don’t let the small size fool you, because there is enough to do in town and close by for a busy day or full weekend. Oakridge is known as the ‘Recreation Capital of the Northwest’. Whether you hike, mountain bike, fish or swim this area is magical.
Light Activity- Visit the Willamette Fish Hatchery- This spectacular FREE park is amazing. Bring quarters to feed the 8 to 10-foot-long Sturgeon or the big Salmon in the first pool. Walk into the small museum and learn about the Native Americans that lived here long before we did, read about the history of the area and the animals that reside here. There are picnic tables, a free educational mini golf course, plus real pheasants, and birds. There is a short trail with informational signs, and from experience I will tell you that it grows naturally, so good shoes and lightweight long pants are best. There is a weird variety of conifer like trees and shrubs throughout the property. Scattered everywhere are amazing chain saw wood sculptures in many forms. The building is handicap accessible but not all areas in the park.
Medium Activity- Greenwaters Park- This park has plenty of space for everyone. There is an amphitheater that has at least 4 free concerts a year, and room for listeners and vendors. This park has a fun playground for the kids. If you happen to have your sneakers, hiking boots or mountain bike, you can walk or ride across the bridge for wonderful scenery. The wide clean paths are easy for people of all ages to enjoy. There are tall trees, river views and natural wonders around every corner. Be aware that this park has poison oak along the path so don’t touch any greenery and mosquito spray is a must.
Extreme Activity- Mountain bikers flock here because of the amazing lush paths and backroads. Oregon Adventures and Willamette Mountain Mercantile will help you get to the top of the best mountain trails so you can enjoy the ride down. The Middle Fork Rangers Station just before town can give you detailed maps and information in case you decide to go it alone.
Delicious food can be found throughout the town, but this trip I will tell you about two of my favorite restaurants. The Cedar Creek Café is actually two businesses on one property. There is the café with delicious BBQ, but they also serve a few vegetarian specialties. There is a huge smoker that is lit several times per week to smoke the brisket, ribs, turkey and pork. You can enjoy breakfast or great lunch sandwiches either outside or inside the quaint café. Homemade pies and cheesecakes are available to satisfy your sweet tooth. Enjoy a beer crafted in the Northwest, outside in the beer garden. The ‘Coffee Hut’ on property will fix you exotic coffee drinks or power smoothies so you are energized on your mountain adventures. They can pack ‘to go’ orders for your picnic lunches.
Big Mountain Pizza and the Loggers Den are housed in the same building. In the front room of the building, enjoy pizza and burgers with your family. Marvel at the huge timbers and bolts that make this a fortress, look at the historic photos from the area. Feel like some grown up time? If you pass through the wooden door with the giant saw wheel embedded you will enter the Loggers Den. This over 21 area has a bar, pool table, juke box and a few casino games or you can watch tv. If you are feeling social, chat with the locals.
Phresh Start in Oakridge is right in the middle of town, across from St. Vinnies. We are open from 9 to 9 daily for the best selection and prices.
Cut through the morning fog with ‘Durban Poison’. It’s a pot that will keep you both moving and bright eyed. It is a ‘sativa’ and is an extremely energetic cannabis strain. Still enjoying your coffee? Try Chocolope cannabis and then stroll the trails through the woods. Ready for a lazy afternoon? Just before you grab a book and slide onto your lounge chair along the river, try Super Lemon Haze an ‘indica’. Indica’s will make you tired or help Velcro you to the couch. If you suffer from pain, strains that are high in CBD’s will help get you through the day without messing with your brain, we suggest Harlequin for your visit.
If you have the time, Oakridge is a great place to spend the night. We have a bed and breakfast uptown, the Oakridge Lodge. Our motels are the Blue Wolf, Cascades, Best Western and the Arbor Inn and RV Park.
There are beautiful campgrounds surrounding the town. So, spend the weekend and explore the area.
It’s time for us to gas up the car and find our next adventure to share with you! Hit the roads this summer and live life to its fullest.