The Bridges of Lane County
There are more than 50 covered bridges in Oregon. Built of wood and covered to protect them from the rain and extend their life, the covered bridges of Oregon are found primarily in the Willamette Valley, where early farmers needed safe river and stream crossings to get their crops to market. The highest concentration of covered bridges is found in Lane County, which stretches from the crest of the Cascade Range all the way to the Pacific Ocean and is home to 20 covered bridges.
You can get a map and guide to Lane County's covered bridges from the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County Oregon, 754 Olive St., Eugene, OR 97401 (tel. 800/547-5445 or 541/484-5307; www.visitlanecounty.org).
Parks & Gardens
Alton Baker Park, on the north bank of the Willamette River, is Eugene's most popular park and offers jogging and biking trails. Across the river, Skinner Butte Park, on the north side of downtown Eugene, has more paved paths. Nearby is the Owen Rose Garden. At the Mount Pisgah Arboretum, 34901 Frank Parrish Rd. (tel. 541/747-3817; www.mountpisgaharboretum.org), south of town, you can hike 7 miles of trails through meadows and forests. There are good views along the way, but watch out for poison oak.
Set beneath towering fir trees high on a hill overlooking the city, Hendricks Park and Rhododendron Garden, 2200 Summit Ave. (tel. 541/682-5324), is one of the prettiest parks in the city, especially in the spring when the rhododendrons bloom. You'll find this park in southeast Eugene off Franklin Boulevard (U.S. 99). Take Walnut Street to Fairmount Boulevard, and then turn east on Summit Avenue. If you're crazy about rhododendrons (as so many Northwesterners are), be sure to schedule a visit to Greer Gardens, 1280 Goodpasture Island Rd. (tel. 800/548-0111 or 541/686-8266; www.greergardens.com), one of the Northwest's most celebrated nurseries.
Eugene is at the southern limit of the Willamette Valley wine region, and there are half a dozen wineries within 30 miles of the city. For a good introduction to the wines of the region, stop in at Sundance Wine Cellars, 2441 Hilyard St. (tel. 800/OR-WINES [679-4637] or 541/687-9463; www.orwines.com), which claims to have the world's largest selection of Oregon wines.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.