Where does your bike take you? And we don’t just mean around town. As avid cyclists are compelled to pedal outside of their hometowns and into new, exciting locations, many find the perfect ride along the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway. This is true especially in the cooler months when the crisp air makes for perfect cycling weather. Intermediate and advanced riders love not only the bikeway, but also the intriguing spots along the way. Pedal-happy visitors can spend a full-day on the 50-mile bikeway, uncovering it all while also getting a stellar workout.
The south end of the route begins at Rood Bridge Park and Rhododendron Garden, which is worth exploring in its own right. The garden provides a rather Zen atmosphere with the sounds of Tualatin River and the soft coos and caws of local inhabitants.
In addition to a cyclist’s GPS and the free bike map, the Tualatin Valley Scenic Bikeway also includes wayward signage.
With easy navigation in place, cyclists can channel their energy toward enjoying the historical and agricultural bounty surrounding them.
A history lesson on wheels, cyclists will journey past the arrestingly beautiful sight of the Old Farmington Schoolhouse at the intersection of SW Rood Bridge Road and SW Burkhalter Road. This rustic structure was a 1800s one-room schoolhouse for local farm children. Nearby, the resting place of influential Oregon pioneers from the 1700s can be seen at the Lewis Pioneer Cemetery.
The bikeway also is aligned with some fantastic northern Willamette Valley vineyards and wineries. Oak Knoll Winery (about four miles from Rood Bridge Park) and A Blooming Hill Vineyard & Winery (about 10 miles from Rood Bridge Park) have tasting rooms that welcome cyclists for a responsible sip of wine and picnic lunch.
Beyond wine and historical sites, cycling in the northern direction of the route will unveil the natural beauty of Fernhill Wetlands. The wetlands include bike and pedestrian trails for exploring, making for easy bird watching adjacent to the Tualatin River.
The northernmost portion of the bikeway is the 21-mile Banks-Vernonia State Trail. With 12 bridges and two railroad trestles, this pastoral path takes cyclists through a stretch of forested wonder.