Between Eugene and Oakridge is an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities. Pleasant Hill and Lowell are the small communities between these two larger destinations — they are set against a backdrop of state parks, forests, reservoirs and campgrounds. Instead of cruising by on Highway 58, linger here and get to know the area and all the amazing outdoor things to do.

Elijah Bristow Park equine trail

Hiking, Mountain Biking & Horseback Riding

This lush mountain corridor has many parks. Ramble the trails in search of spring mushrooms, summer wildflowers, autumn colors or winter snow scenes.


Elijah Bristow State Park 

Just outside of Eugene, this 847 acre park is a prime horseback riding destination with woodsy and wetland trails along the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. Ten miles of trails also appeal to hikers and mountain bikers (please follow trail etiquette for multi-use trails). There is a separate staging area for equestrians and part of the trail system connects with the Pacific Crest Trail. Elijah Bristow State Park is a local favorite for exploring and wildlife watching.


Fall Creek National Recreation Area

An even deeper plunge into the wilderness brings you to the Fall Creek National Recreation Area, east of Lowell and accessible seasonally May to September. Creekside hikes and day-use parks radiate out from Fall Creek Reservoir. Fall Creek Trail is for hikers only and covers approximately 13 miles (20.9 km). Recently impacted by 2023 wildfires, the Fall Creek area may still have significant portions closed for restoration.

Also Explore

Old Mill Disc Golf Course in Oakridge

Disc Golf

Toss discs at several disc golf courses between Eugene and Oakridge. Outside of Eugene's more populated areas, these disc golf courses enjoy natural settings and less foot traffic during the week.


Jasper State Recreation Site

Near Eugene, Jasper State Recreation Site offers a nine hole course over a fairly flat terrain alongside the Willamette River. With access to park facilities, this is a nice place to play, although the course does have some obstacles with trees and a few park roads and parking areas. This park tends to attract fewer people, so mixed-use conflicts are minimal. Expand your activities with a picnic or fish along the river.


Dexter State Recreation Site

Dexter State Recreation Site caters to the disc golf crowd with a 18-hole disc golf course (PDF). With ample parking, restrooms and picnic facilities, this is a great all-day destination, and a favorite course. The course itself is through woods, over lawns with elevation changes, and it offers some beautiful lake views. The tees are concrete making it more adaptable to year-round play, but in the rain it can get muddy and a few holes may flood. This course is popular, so be prepared for groups of disc golfers on weekends and during summer.


Old Mill Disc Golf Park

If you continue to Oakridge you can visit the Old Mill Disc Golf Park which offers 18 holes compliant with PDGA standards. Throughout the course are timber mill artifacts, art and interpretive signage.

US Rowing Northwest Masters 2023

Water Sports & Fishing

The stunning bodies of water along this stretch of forest is perhaps the most alluring draw to this area. From boats or shore, fishing for trout or salmon is a popular past-time in the fast moving waters of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River and the stiller waters of the reservoirs.


Elijah Bristow State Park

Kayakers and canoeists may start their journey on the Willamette River Water Trail from Elijah Bristow State Park. The Pengra Access also provides a boat launch on the opposite side of the river.


Dexter Reservoir

The Middle Fork of the Willamette River morphs into Dexter Reservoir with a boat launch, docks and park facilities right off Highway 58. Dexter Reservoir is home to regattas of all types. Any given morning you'll see crew teams from the University of Oregon or the local high schools skimming across the water. This reservoir, typically kept high year-round, is also ideal for speedboats, waterskiing, inner tubing and jet skis. On the opposite shore is the Lowell State Recreation Site, also with a boat launch, docks, park facilities and beautiful views. Above Dexter is Lookout Point Reservoir. Two more nearby reservoirs add to this bountiful water playground.

USRowing Northwest Masters Regional Championships

The USRowing Northwest Masters Regional Championships is returning to Dexter Reservoir. This is a USRowing sanctioned event for the Masters division. Come watch the three-day event and experience the sport of rowing demonstrated by athletes ages 21-85+. Come cheer for the local rowing clubs as they compete head to head with rowing clubs from across the west coast! Spectators can enjoy an exciting day of racing with starts scheduled every 10 minutes beginning at 7:30 a.m. A schedule of events can be found on the OAR website. Food and merchandise vendors will be on site, elevating the festive atmosphere of this exciting event. Admission is free, making this a fun, family-friendly activity. Park at Lowell High School and take the free shuttle to the venue.

Get out on the water

Riding OHVs & Side-by-Sides

Riding off-road vehicles around this area is also popular. Head out to Hills Creek or Huckleberry Flats, but please check with land managers about access and needed permits.

Cultural Rambling

It's not just outdoor adventures in Lowell — there are some cultural attractions to check out too! This area has the second highest density of covered bridges within Lane County (four total) after Cottage Grove. Stop by the Lowell Covered Bridge Interpretive Center to learn more about the region's romantic bridges. Kids can run about at Rolling Rock park with climb-on rail and logging equipment, and "Animal House" movie fans can see the Dexter Lake Club, adjacent the Rattlesnake BBQ. And to elevate your visit to Lowell, make a reservation at Dueling Spoons, a very special gourmet dining experience. 



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