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Where to Enjoy Outdoor Adventures and Quality Craft Beer Around Eugene

By Matt Wastradowski

Eugene sits at the southern edge of the Willamette Valley and at the doorstep of the Cascade Range, making the city an exciting destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes.

So with summer fast approaching, we wanted to showcase some of what makes the area so special. In particular, we’re excited to highlight a pair of close-in disc golf courses (both flanked by mountain peaks and other natural sites), popular craft breweries pouring some of the region’s best suds, and outdoor adventures that range from fun urban hikes to forested hot spring adventures.

Disc Golf Courses Around Eugene and Oakridge

A man wearing a hat and sunglasses attempts to make a disc golf shot in the basket on a clear sunny day.
The Old Mill Disc Golf Course in Oakridge / Photo by Joey Hamilton

Whether you're watching or competing in the 2023 PDGA Tim Selinske US Masters Disc Golf Championships and want to keep the fun going, you'll find plenty of exciting disc golf courses around Eugene.

The Dexter Park Disc Golf Course, for instance, sits about 20 minutes east of Eugene via Highway 58; the 18-hole course sits on the banks of Dexter Reservoir and offers impressive views of the lake, as well as nearby peaks.

Another half-hour east of Dexter, try your hand at the championship-level Old Mill Disc Golf Course in Oakridge. The par-60 course boasts a variety of terrain while following an interpretive trail that showcases regional history on the site of an old mill.

For more, check out our guide to five epic disc golf courses throughout the Willamette Valley.

Craft Breweries Around Eugene

A Group of people tasting beers and food at Ninkasi Better Living Room.
The patio at Ninkasi Better Living Room

Nearly three-dozen breweries, taphouses, and cideries crisscross the Eugene area, so you're never far from a quality brew. Here are a few highlights to get started:

Ninkasi Brewing: The stalwart brewery's Ninkasi Better Living Room boasts a spacious interior and leafy back patio-so there's always plenty of space to enjoy the brewery's flagship releases, small-batch creations, and Pacific Northwest-inspired food menu.

Claim 52 Kitchen: Claim 52 Brewing hosts a fun brewpub (with a full food menu) in the heart of downtown Eugene; you'll find a variety of beer styles here, but Claim 52 is best known for its wide-ranging Thicc series of gose beers-which boast herbal notes and an eclectic mix of fruity flavors.

The 3 Legged Crane Pub and Brewhouse: If your adventures take you to Oakridge in the Cascade foothills, end your day at the English pub-inspired 3 Legged Crane Pub and Brewhouse; the old-school brewpub pairs its cask-conditioned ales with hearty helpings of fish-and-chips, live acoustic music, and shady patio seating.

Looking for other ideas? Check out the Eugene Ale Trail to start planning your next beercation.

Terwilliger Cougar Hot Springs

Hikes and Outdoor Adventures Near Eugene

You could spend weeks around Eugene and still only scratch the surface of its many outdoor adventures. We couldn't begin to list them all, but here's a round-up of a few favorite spots to help you get started.

Skinner Butte: Most of Eugene sits in a valley between two buttes; both are popular for outdoor fun, but we're partial to Skinner Butte for its wide range of offerings-including rock-climbing opportunities (bring your own gear), a short hiking trail to the summit (where dramatic city views await), and a playground for active children.

Mount Pisgah Arboretum: Just southwest of Eugene, the Mount Pisgah Arboretum is a bucolic nature preserve that hosts roughly seven miles of hiking trails that head through forests, wetlands, and meadows-complete with interpretive displays and exhibits that explain the area's natural history and ecology.

Terwilliger (Cougar) Hot Springs: Follow a quick, quarter-mile trail to the clothing-optional Terwilliger (Cougar) Hot Springs-a series of six tiered pools, laid out in a step ladder-like pattern, in the midst of an old-growth forest. A spring feeds the pools from above, so you'll enjoy progressively cooler temperatures the lower you go. Learn more about hot springs around the Willamette Valley.

Check out our round-up of five outdoor activities around Eugene and the West Cascades for other ideas for getting outside on your next visit.

Your adventure begins with the official Willamette Valley Travel Guide. Request your complimentary printed guide or download a digital guide today.

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