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52 Adventures to Try This Year

Published: January 01, 2021

 

A new year is a new opportunity to live life like you mean it. We've collected the 52 best adventures in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region — one for every week of the year. Many of these are free and close to home. 

Salt Creek Sno-Park in winter

Photo: Melanie Griffin / EugeneCascadesCoast.org

1. Snowshoe to an icy winter waterfall.

2. Soak in a mineral-rich hot spring.

3. Learn about truffles during the Oregon Truffle Festival in person or online, and taste some wild Oregon truffles at home. 

4. Get a thrill tubing or sledding at the Salt Creek Sno-Park.

5. Catch a sunrise over Eugene at Skinner Butte

6. Visit barking sea lions in the largest mainland sea cave

7. Cycle the Cottage Grove Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway.

8. Find your favorite local craft beers on the Eugene Ale Trail.

9. Spend the night at the keepers' house beneath a century-old lighthouse.

10. Explore wine country during Oregon Wine Month.

Clear Lake

Photo: Melanie Griffin

11. Tour famous filming locations for movies like "Stand By Me" and "Animal House".

12. Hike the Amanda Trail and learn the history of the area's Indigenous Peoples. 

13. See a play, concert or ballet at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts.

14. Touch the Pacific Crest Trail at one of the trailheads.

15. See eleven waterfalls on one easy hike at Sweet Creek

16. Buy some tie-dye at the Saturday Market.

17. Take a wildflower hike on Wild Iris Ridge.

18. Stay at Westfir Lodge and experience guided "forest bathing" for relaxing nature therapy. 

19. Paddle over a petrified forest at Clear Lake.

20. Wander through hazelnut orchards at Dorris Ranch

Upper Trestle Creek Falls hike

Photo: Melanie Griffin / EugeneCascadesCoast.org

21. Walk behind a waterfall

22. Charge the rapids on the Wild & Scenic McKenzie River.

23. Cruise the top trails in Oakridge, "The Mountain Biking Capital of the Northwest".

24. See Spouting Horn and Thor's Well on the Oregon Coast at high tide for an explosive show. 

25. Experience rich, local flavors on the South Willamette Valley Food Trail

26. Watch the sunset over the Pacific Ocean with smores on the beach at Driftwood Shores

27. Spend a summer day swimming and sliding at the Lake Creek Rock Slides.

28. Check out the only park dedicated to carnivorous plants at the Darlingtonia State Natural Site.

29. Visit the Dee Wright Observatory for great views from a lava rock fort.

30. Roar over 500-foot sandhills on a dune buggy.

31. Horseback ride on the beach at sunset. 

32. Explore tide pools at low tide. 

33. Find the swing at Mount Pisgah and have a picnic there. 

34. Learn to fly-fish from a pro and catch your dinner. 

35. Float the McKenzie River in the iconic drift boat designed for the river. 

36. Sleep in a yurt on the coast at Honeyman State Park.

37. See Oregon's second tallest waterfall. Bonus points for capturing the entire waterfall in a single photo.

38. Go birdwatching at Fern Ridge

39. Gain a new hobby sandboarding on the Oregon Coast. 

40. Drive the Aufderheide for the best fall foliage. 

Running on Pre's Trail

Photo: Melanie Griffin / EugeneCascadesCoast.org

41. Run in the footsteps of track legend Steve Prefontaine.

42. Learn American history while hiking Constitution Grove in the Cascades. 

43. Visit some of the regions' most haunted places... if you dare. 

44. Practice your underwater photography skills in one of the purest and clearest lakes in the world. 

45. Learn some Indigenous phrases for the local landscape at the Kalapuya Talking Stones

46. Do a self-guided tour of twenty-one international murals in Eugene. 

47. Look out over the coastline at the tallest point on the coast accessible by car at Cape Perpetua Overlook

48. See what remains of an old gold mining ghost town high in the Cascade Mountains. 

49. Visit the official Simpsons mural in the "real" Springfield. 

50. Scout out twinkle lights on display across the communities during the holidays.      

51. Cut your own Christmas tree at Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm or get a permit to find a wild one in the National Forest

52. Go whale watching on the Oregon Coast.

 

Author: Melanie Ryan Griffin

Melanie is a University of Oregon graduate who studied Cultural Anthropology. After finishing school, she worked as a touring concert photographer for many years before expanding into writing concert and album reviews for online publications. Melanie is now the Art Director for Travel Lane County. She has lived in Eugene for more than a decade and spends nearly every weekend searching for new favorite places in the county. She has also lived in California, New Mexico, Florida, Spain and Slovakia but loves Oregon the most.

Melanie enjoys exploring the vibrant arts and culture scene in Eugene.  She also loves painting, cooking for friends, dancing, hiking and learning new things.