Author Topic: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area  (Read 2591 times)

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Offline knolltop

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Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« on: February 01, 2011, 09:24:39 am »
Daughter lives in Eugene.  So I was planning to begin my xcountry ride at Florence.  But since am taking the train, an option is to get off train at Portland, load up the bike, and ride to Eugene using The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.  Looks like easy (ala relatively flat) 3-4 day trip.

Willamette Bikeway begins at Champoeg State Heritage Area.  Any recommendations as to routing from  Portland's Amtrak station to Champoeg?

Thanks!
Michael
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Offline staehpj1

Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2011, 10:21:09 am »
I have not ridden the Willamette Bikeway and have no specific recommendations for routing using it.

That said...
I personally would want to start at the ocean or at least close to it.  We flew into Portland and took a rental car to Newport.  That allowed us to see a bit of the coast before heading east at Florence.  Another thing that was nice about starting at the coast was watching the climate change as you cross the coastal range and then the Cascades.

Obviously this is personal preference, so YMMV.

Offline jeff s

Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 10:45:48 am »
Michael, here's a route I put in bikely.com for Portland to Champoeg:

http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Portland-to-Champoeg-State-Park

The one problem with this route is that currently the Willamette River bridge from Oregon City to West Linn is closed - there is a bike/pedestrian shuttle, though.  There is also a steep but scenic climb up Pete's Mt., after which you're rewarded with a long downhill to the Canby Ferry (one of 3 ferries on the Willamette River).   

Anyway, the work-around if you don't want to take on the shuttle or the mountain is:
from Oregon City, find the elevator right in downtown (no fooling, it's save you a few hundred feet of climbing and some distance, plus it's really odd) then follow High St south for a few blocks , LEFT on 5th, turns into Linn St., then at a big intersection with Warner-Milne & Warner-Parrot, find Central Point Rd. and follow it for about 7 miles - then RIGHT (west) on Bremer Rd. into Canby.  You can pick up the route above here.

Here's a series of Willamette Valley bike maps you may find helpful:

http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=36638&a=316792

Also of note: Willamette Mission State Park , not to far from Champoeg, now has hiker/biker campsites. IMO a much nicer place to camp than Champoeg -

 
jeff

Offline knolltop

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Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2011, 11:51:08 am »
Jeff,

Big :thumbsup:
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Offline indyfabz

Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2011, 12:26:22 pm »
Also of note: Willamette Mission State Park , not to far from Champoeg, now has hiker/biker campsites. IMO a much nicer place to camp than Champoeg

That name kept ringing a bell so I checked the Cycle Oregon archives and I was right.  We stayed there for two nights in 2005.  I remember it not being all that great, but it's possible that the 2000+ strong crowd has something to do with that.

Offline jeff s

Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2011, 01:43:17 pm »
Indy, yes with a crowd of 2000 it would lose a lot of it's charm.  It's main appeal is that it has *only* a hiker/biker camp, and a group camp - so once the day-trippers clear out you've got the grounds pretty much to yourself.  Champoeg you share with hundreds of other campers & RVers.

Offline knolltop

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Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2011, 09:37:09 am »
Jeff ... Amtrak station is on west side of river.  Recommends on which bridge to use to get to east side?
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Offline adventurepdx

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Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2011, 04:40:34 pm »
Michael/Knolltop:
Here's another route from Portland to Champoeg that stays on the east side of the Willamette, avoiding the issue of the Oregon City bridge under construction:
http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Portland-to-Champoeg-State-Park-Route-C

This route starts on the Eastbank Esplanade by where the Hawthorne Bridge intersects it.  Easiest thing to do from Union Station is get to the Steel Bridge (use the pedestrian bridge with elevator to cross the tracks by the station), then onto the Eastbank Esplanade.  A little over a mile distance between Union Station and the start of the ride.

I've ridden the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway once before.  It's nice, mostly flat (there are a few small hills, but no mountains to worry about), but my main issue is beyond Willamette Mission, there is no legal place to camp anywhere near the trail until almost the end.  This is about a 100 mile stretch between Willamette Mission and Brownsville (next camping.)  Be prepared to stealth camp (options seemed limited, since it's mostly farm country and the route doesn't exactly parallel the river), stay at a hotel/B&B, or pull a century to Brownsville.

Offline knolltop

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Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2011, 02:58:17 pm »
Again, thanks all for advise recommends.

Jeff S and Adventurepdx .... BIG :THUMBSUP:!!
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Offline jeff s

Re: which bridge?
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2011, 10:47:15 am »
KT, if you get yourself from the AMTRAK station to Waterfront Park (west side of the river) and head south, you can cross over on the Hawthorne Bridge.

have a great ride!

Offline knolltop

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Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2011, 01:35:00 pm »
Yep, I can see how to get over Steel Bridge to Esplanade.
Gotcha on the Hawthorne Bridge.
Guess am good to go.
Told daughter living in Eugene that I'd be riding down from Portland.

Gonna reach 41F today!  So had to get out for a short 10 mi.
It's going to be relatively warm for next few days and rain.  So have opp to get rid of ALL this snow!
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Offline benjcook

Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2011, 09:51:47 pm »
Wife and I rode the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway last summer.  Wonderful route.  Well chosen.  Almost COMPLETELY flat.

We live in Oregon City and got dropped off at Champoeg.  Rode to Albany and stayed with a friend (80 miles), then rode on to Eugene on day 2 (70 miles).  It was great.  Then we took Amtrak back to Oregon City (there's a terminal in Oregon City).

This next spring we will ride from our house to Champoeg (~22 mi), then continue to Salem for day 1, and complete the rest in two days.  Great ride.  But do you want to start in Portland?  You're welcome to stay at our house in OC, and start your journey with a warm breakfast and shower ;)

If you want the route I use to Champoeg (I ride it several times a year on my way to Newberg), I can map it out for you.


Offline knolltop

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Re: Portland Amtrak station to Champoeg State Heritage Area
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2011, 10:20:19 pm »
You're welcome to stay at our house in OC, and start your journey with a warm breakfast and shower ;)

Ben,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for the kind offer.
I expect not much sleep will be had on the train from Chgo to Portland.  So warm brkfast/shower is VERY enticing.  I'm going to seriously consider this.
I'll pm ya as launch day from Chicago approaches.
Michael
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