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  • Fishing on the McKenzie River by Jerry Gowins
  • Rafting on the McKenzie River
  • Kayaking, McKenzie River OR by Jennifer Archer
  • McKenzie River Drift Boat by Jamie Hooper
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McKenzie River

From Eugene - Springfield, drive scenic Highway 126 east toward the Hoodoo Ski Resort and discover a half dozen charming riverfront communities tucked in along the McKenzie River. 

Branch off onto Highway 242 toward the McKenzie Pass to tour amazing lava fields and visit the Dee Wright Observatory. This winding mountain road is closed during the winter months and in the spring, before it opens to motor traffic, bicyclists and hikers have exclusive access.

  McKenzie River Getaway Sweepstakes

Camp or stay in fishing lodges, cabins and bed and breakfasts overlooking the McKenzie River. This famous river is named for Scottish explorer Donald Mackenzie, nicknamed "Perpetual Motion," who enthusiastically traversed this watershed in the early 1800s.

Today, whitewater adventurers, anglers, hikers and mountain bikers alike adore the stunning beauty of the McKenzie River. Embark on an outdoor adventure with a fishing, kayaking or rafting guide.  Hike the famous McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, which wanders 26.5 miles (43 km) through old-growth forest, past captivating waterfalls and relaxing hot springs. During the summer drive the scenic Aufderheide Highway that connects to the mountain biking community of Oakridge.

Embark on a GeoTour along the McKenzie River! A real life treasure hunt for hidden geocaches using your GPS. Redeem the official Eugene, Cascades & Coast McKenzie River GeoTour passport for a collectible geocoin (while supplies last).

 Belknap Piano Player by Kelly Stroble   Another facet of the McKenzie River is the number of artists that choose to live here. Galleries featuring pottery, stained glass and textiles invite leisurely browsing and shopping. Shop for amazing, one-of-a-kind treasures.

There is a lot to see and do along the way!

McKenzie River Drift Boat
The drift boat is the centerpiece of recreation for the riverfront Cascade communities. In the 1920s Prince Helfrich and Leroy Pruitt crafted the famous McKenzie River Drift Boat. They refined an open-water dory for improved maneuvering in river rapids, launching a design that is still used today.
The McKenzie River Drift Boat is recognizable by its wide, flat bottom, flared sides, flat bow and pointed stern. The rower faces downstream. An example of the boat is displayed in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure Center in Springfield. Another excellent source of information on the McKenzie River Drift Boat is Roger Fletcher's Drift Boats & River Dories: Their History, Design, Construction and Use.   McKenzie River Drift Boat on display at the Adventure Center in Springfield 
For that authentic Northwest boating experience, several river guides offer fishing excursions using the McKenzie River Drift Boat.