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Planning Your Outdoor Adventure Around Westfir and Oakridge

By Matt Wastradowski

The Willamette Valley might be known for its pastoral farmland and stands of centuries-old oak trees-but a short drive away sits the West Cascades, an idyllic getaway that offers a much different natural experience. There, rivers begin to roar as they flow downhill and into the Willamette River; old-growth forests blanket rolling hillsides and iconic peaks; and hundreds of miles of mountain-bike trails crisscross the region's slopes.

And the heart of the West Cascades is the communities of Westfir and Oakridge, which host all manner of comfortable lodgings, epic outdoor adventures, and more. Though they may be separate entities, Westfir and Oakridge are bound by their close proximity to the surrounding natural wonders-and by a desire to help visitors make the most of their time in the scenic area. 

Coming from Eugene via Highway 58, the first community you arrive at is Westfir; the no-stoplight hamlet is most notable for the ambitious Westfir Lodge, which offers shuttles, guided outings, and an on-site eatery in addition to its comfortable rooms. Just a few miles east is Oakridge, whose quiet main drag is surrounded on all sides by the Cascade foothills; as the larger of the close-by communities, Oakridge is where you'll find mountain bike rentals, eateries, and a grocery store stocked with provisions. 

Ready to plan your next trip? Here's where to eat, drink, stay, and play around Westfir and Oakridge in the West Cascades.

Where to Stay Around Westfir and Oakridge

Combined, Westfir and Oakridge boast a population of fewer than 4,000 residents-so available accommodations can be few and far between, especially at the height of summer. But with a little planning, you can enjoy a night or two in some of the area's most storied lodgings and most beautiful campgrounds. Here's a quick overview to help get you started.

Westfir Lodge and Mountain Market: Sitting at the base of the popular Alpine Trail in the Willamette National Forest, Westfir Lodge and Mountain Market hosts eight comfortable rooms in the heart of the region. Away from the rooms, the lodge's Cascades Outdoor Center has everything you need to enjoy a day outdoors - including bike shuttles to popular trailheads and guided hiking, biking, kayaking, and rafting trips.

Arbor Inn Motel: Over in Oakridge, the mom-and-pop Arbor Inn Motel offers a clean, friendly stay in the heart of town. Smart TVs let you relax with a variety of streaming services after a day outdoors, and pillowtop beds help you rest up after a day outdoors.

Packard Creek Campground: Just a 15-minute drive from Oakridge sits Packard Creek Campground. The popular, 37-site campground sits in a forest of fir and alongside the west side of Hills Creek Reservoir in the Cascade Range. Amenities include a picnic table and campfire ring-but the natural beauty is the primary draw at Packard Creek.

Where to Hike, Bike, and Play Around Westfir and Oakridge

However you want to get outdoors around Westfir and Oakridge-from shredding mountain bike trails to quiet hikes to easy-going disc golf adventures-you'll find plenty to do in the area. Here's a guide to outdoor activities around Westfir and Oakridge to get started.

Oakridge mountain biking trails: It's hard to overstate Oakridge's relationship with the sport of mountain biking. The small mountain town is routinely called "the Mountain Biking Capital of the Northwest". With more than 300 miles of single-track trails traverse the forested hillsides just outside of town we couldn't begin to cover it all, so learn more about mountain biking in Oakridge from Travel Lane County.

North Fork River Walk: If you're looking to stretch your legs, consider an outing along the western side of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. In all, the hike is seven miles round-trip, though you can stop wherever you feel like. The hike offers something to love all year long: Rhododendron blooms add a splash of pink in the spring, plenty of short spur trails access the river if you want to splash about in summer, and vine maple dazzles with reds, oranges, and yellows in fall. When you're done, head back to the parking area and snap a few photos of the scenic Office Covered Bridge (the longest covered bridge in Oregon).

Salt Creek Falls and Diamond Creek Falls: At 286 feet tall, Salt Creek Falls is Oregon's second-tallest single-drop waterfall-and can be accessed via a short, paved, wheelchair-accessible path from the main parking area. If you want to explore further, a (non-wheelchair-accessible) hiking trail descends to its base and heads to the 120-foot Diamond Creek Falls, which tumbles down a sloping basalt cliffside nearby.

Oakridge Disc Golf Club: Disc golf fans can get in a round or two at Oakridge Disc Golf Club-Oregon's newest such course. The championship-level course stretches more than 6,200 feet and boasts a variety of terrain not far from town. Learn more about the Oakridge Disc Golf Club and other disc golf courses in the Willamette Valley.

Where to Eat and Drink in Westfir and Oakridge

After a long day outdoors, refuel with meals bursting with ingredients grown in the Willamette Valley, local beers, and other hearty food and drink items. Here are a few favorite stops in the region.

Mountain Market at Westfir Lodge: The Mountain Market at Westfir Lodge dishes house-made pierogies, a generous meat-and-cheese plate, snacks, locally brewed beer, regional wine, and other goodies-with a patio that overlooks the Westfir Covered Bridge.

The 3 Legged Crane Pub and Brewhouse: After a day outdoors, unwind with a tasty beer and a plate of fish-and-chips at The 3 Legged Crane Pub and Brewhouse in the heart of Oakridge; the English-style pub specializes in cask ales, which go through secondary fermentation in casks (not kegs) kegs before they're served. Outdoor seating, an indoor pool table, and regular live music all create a lively atmosphere.

Deep Woods Distillery: Sample spirits and infusions made on-site from Deep Woods Distillery, one of Oregon's smallest craft distilleries. Spirits (including whisky, vodka, and more) generally use local and regional ingredients, and recipes are inspired by Oregon's natural bounty. Stop by when the tasting room is open on weekends, and you never know when you might stumble upon community events or a live show from a local musician.

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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