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Featured National Recreation Trail

Ridgeline Trail, Oregon

The 14-mile trail meanders through over 1000 acres of diverse natural habitats straddling the southern edge of Eugene, Oregon.

From the City of Eugene

Map of OregonThis 14-mile urban trail/bikeway provides an extensive opportunity for recreation and nature appreciation just a few miles from downtown Eugene and features Spencer Butte, the highest and most prominent landmark at the southern end of the Willamette Valley. Access to the trail is easily found in many of the surrounding residential neighborhoods of south Eugene.

Photo of trees with valley in the distance
The view from the trail over the Willamette Valley

The trail provides an extensive opportunity for recreation and nature appreciation just a few miles from downtown and within walking distance of thousands of residents.

The Ridgeline Trail, especially the challenging spur which climbs to the top of Spencer Butte, is one of the most popular trails in the metropolitan area. Spencer Butte, elevation 2054 feet, is the highest and most prominent landmark at the southern end of the Willamette Valley.

The trail and surrounding park have had broad public support ever since their origin in a 1939 grass-roots campaign which collected contributions no larger than $5 in order to let everyone "buy a piece" of the butte.

Photo of the trail climbing through dry grass
The Ridgeline Trail near Eugene, Oregon

Since 1939, the City has continued to actively purchase adjacent lands and extend the trail, towards completing a vision of a twenty mile long wildlife, scenic, and recreational corridor connecting Fern Ridge Reservoir in the east to the Willamette River, and Mt. Pisgah in the west.

The City has partnered with a wide variety of organizations and agencies to help build and maintain the trail, manage the habitats, and acquire additional adjacent lands, including, Federal, State, and Local governments, conservation organizations, citizen groups, and educational institutions.

Hikers along the trail pass through a great diversity of habitats including: Old growth Douglas fir forest, globally imperiled upland prairie and Oregon white oak savanna, California black oak, ponderosa pine woodlands, iIncense cedar, grand fir, bigleaf maple, black cottonwood, Oregon Ash, and abundant native shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses.

 

photo of youth crew on the trail
Youth crews provide help with trail maintenance

The top of Spencer Butte is a regionally unique rocky bald with rare lichen and bryophyte populations and affords outstanding views to the surrounding city, countryside, and distant mountain ranges. The trail includes several boardwalks and bridges and is a wonderful resource for bird and wildlife watchers. Portions of the trail are open to mountain bikers.

For more information:

City of Eugene, Parks and Open Space
1820 Roosevelt Blvd.
Eugene, OR 97401
541-682-4800
http://www.eugene-or.gov

 

The National Recreation Trails Program
American Trails, P.O. Box 491797, Redding, CA 96049-1797 (530) 547-2060 Fax: (530) 547-2035 nrt@americantrails.org www.AmericanTrails.org

Photo from horse on trail
Northshore Trail at Grapevine Lake, Flower Mound, TX (photo: Peggie Kimberlin)

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