One of our favorite ways to explore the Mid- Willamette Valley is by bike, especially during warm summer months. Not only can you set your own rhythm, you have the freedom to tailor your vacation to exactly what you want to explore. Best of all, Salem offers a variety of biking experience for you to choose from. Whether you are a weekend recreation-seeker, a die-hard road rider or mountain/trail bikers, there is something for you here.
Best Bike Rides Near Salem
Historic Downtown Route
Travel Salem’s Historic Downtown Biking Route is certainly a good start! Hit local must-see landmarks such as Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre, Salem Multicultural Institute, Reed Opera House, and of course our Riverfront Park. This is a truly excellent way to experience Salem first hand.
Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
RideOregonRide.com summed up this bikeway perfectly: “Cycle alongside fields of Oregon’s world-famous hops, past views of vineyards and through quaint towns. Stop for tastings at wineries and pick up supplies at coffee shops and brewpubs. The northern point of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway is Champoeg State Park, where settlers gathered in the 1850s to hold what turned out to be a very close vote that led to the creation of the state of Oregon.” Though technically this trail is not a short one (it travels from Champoeg to Eugene), bikers can ride as much — or as little — of the trail as they see fit and still take in some truly scenic views.
Champoeg State Heritage Area
“One of the things I really appreciate is how well it’s laid out. Even when it gets busy in the summer, the layout is spaced so the trail feels very peaceful. It never feels crammed.” – Austin Wallace, The Statesman Journal
River views and riparian forest! Oregon’s oldest store! Western Bluebirds! This historic state park offers everything a stop on a bike trail could offer. This 8-mile out-and-back trip is a must-visit location for any bikers looking to explore Salem on two wheels.
Willamette Mission State Park
This 1,680-acre, 4-mile trail offers bikers stunning views of lakes, river beaches, orchards, and other stunning Willamette Valley natural wonders. You may even catch glimpse of a horse or two on the horse trails!
Salem Ale & Cider Trail
It’s your vacation, who is to say you can’t engage in a different biking trail than the norm? For connoisseurs of both ale and cider, this Ale & Cider trail allows visitors to travel down different distilleries and breweries. Pair this with the Travel Salem / Salem Brewery Association passport and you can get special offers from the different stops. For a full list of the breweries please visit Travel Salem.
Minto-Brown Island Park
Minto-Brown Island Park is a family favorite for parents taking their kids to enjoy a day out. 7 miles of flat, easy trails mean everyone can have a good time while enjoying Willamette River views. Riders have the opportunity to explore the new Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge as they make the ride from Salem to Minto-Brown Island Park!
Silver Falls State Park
Known for its scenic waterfall hikes, Silver Falls State Park offers lush forest biking trails. Oregon’s largest state park offers a day of adventure for hikers and bikers of all levels, as well as breath-taking views to sit down and enjoy while eating a picnic lunch, Better yet, an additional four miles of trail will be added to Silver Falls’ Catamount Trail. This trail is the state park’s only mountain-bike optimized trail.
Riverfront to Wallace Marine parks
Last but certainly not least is Riverfront Park to Wallace Marine Park. Ride along the Willamette River as you see the famous Riverfront Carousel, the Eco Earth Globe, the Union Street Railroad Bridge, and Star Complex. Of course, both Riverfront and Wallace Marine Parks offer natural beauty and countless locations to stop for a picnic lunch or even take a boat ride.
These are just a handful of the places you can explore throughout Salem on two wheels. Now you just have to get your biking vacation planned! Don’t forget, as we have discussed in previous posts, the Bike Concierge can help make your biking vacation a walk in the park… or perhaps we should say a ride in the park.