Row River Trail, Oregon, July 2010

I live in Sacramento, California. For many years, I wanted to do a self-supported bicycle tour somewhere. Four years ago, to this end, I bought a bike designed for such an adventure, a Bike Friday. Months before heading out, I planned a tour in a part of Oregon where there isn't as much traffic as where I live, and where the weather typically is not as hot during the summer. I did small three tours: One from Eugene to Corvalis, Oregon; one to Victoria, BC; and an overnight on the Row (rhymes with "cow") River Bike Trail, in Cottage Grove, Oregon. I did the first tour with Karen (on my left in the photo above), from Arizona, who I connected with by way of the Bike Friday community page. Her Bike Friday is yellow; mine, "Amelia," is bright purple.

I had so much fun on my first bike tour with Karen that I decided to fit in a mini-tour en route to visiting my family up in Portland. So, here are some photos I took along the Row River Trail on my overnight camping excursion.

It was a really sweet bike path, about 16 miles long around one side of Dorena Lake, and then a few more miles (climbing) around the lake, to get to Baker Bay Campground. Benches and picnic tables along the way, with lots of shady groves as well as sunny stretches with beautiful views.

Shade was easy to find all along the way!

The trail skirts one side of Lake Dorena.

One of several covered bridges from yesteryear, this one called the Dorena Bridge.

I climbed 2 or 3 miles up a gradual grade ... it was hot towards the end of the day, so this was a stretch for me, a flatlander! I didn't realize how much I had climbed until I cruised down it the next morning, needing no pedaling all the way down!

This was part of the Baker Bay Campground scene. Hot showers. Yes! Lots of families enjoying a weekend outdoors. The campground's unempathetic host almost turned me away due to no vacancies, as evening drew near. I talked him into letting me camp next to a nice family who had more than enough space. I paid them for my campsite, and that covered their cost, basically, so they were happy.

Just a day and a night, but more than enough to make me feel like I'd had an enjoyable departure from everyday routines.

Get more information about bike overnights.

2 responses so far ↓

G.Chapman - Oct 27, 2013 at 2:20 PM

I lived in the Row River Valley for a while (south side of the lake). The bike trail is a Rails-to Trails project (completed in stages through the 90's). The Row River Valley originally had the train tracks (rails) running down the middle of the valley. (The venue was used in the silent-film "The General", starring Charlie Chaplin.) The valley was subsequently flooded to create Dorena Lake (reservoir) and the tracks relocated to the north side of the lake. The Row River Trail is also a popular venue for in-line speedskaters.

Phil Gagnon - Nov 11, 2013 at 9:39 PM

Paula. Wonderful journal. I'll add your tour to others that I prepare for next summer. I'm pres of Siskiyou club in Ashland, OR.

I design short term tours--3-4-5-7 days--which appeal to seniors as I keep daily mileages at 35 to 45 miles at 7 to 10 mph speeds. There's no fee. We eat out mostly. Some camp; others motel.

16 joined me on a 4-day tour last summer in the Willamette Valley. Nice.

If you're interested, I'll send you an itinerary of next season's tours when I complete designing them.

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