Belknap Springs + lots of other fun in the area

See the source image

Belknap Hot Springs is good reason for a day trip from Eugene, but are you aware of other attractions in the general vicinity that are also possibly of interest? Belknap’s website lists these as additional reasons to visit:

  • Sightseeing: Visit nearby lava beds at the base of the Three Sisters Mountains, waterfalls, mountain vistas, etc.
    Biking: Many trails are good for mountain biking, including the 26 mile McKenzie River Trail.
    Hiking: Myriads of trails nearby and in the high country, from nature trails to wilderness challenges.
    • Golf at the famous Tokatee Golf Club just 8 miles away — one of the highest rated public golf courses in the country.
    • Deer and Elk hunting in season.
    • Enjoy beautiful autumn foliage!
    • Unique shopping at Christmas Treasures.
    Skiing at Hoodoo Ski Bowl just 30 miles away plus many cross country ski trails.
    • Hiking and Biking the lower trails all winter, including the McKenzie River Trail.
    Fishing in the lower river, the lakes and reservoirs year round.


Posted on September 28, 2018 at 4:01 pm
Nadine Scott | Posted in Explore the McKenzie |

Ready for a Mushroom Gathering Adventure?

Information gathered from Willamette National Forest Service website

Personal (Incidental/Non-Commercial) Use

No permit or fee is required for quantities less than one gallon (per person, per day) unless you are collecting matsutakes.

black and brown mushroom beside grass

If collecting more than a gallon – even if only for personal use – a permit is required. Obtain the permit from the office closest to where you plan to harvest: See ranger station locations here.
Mushrooms gathered under incidental harvest are for personal use only and all mushrooms collected must be cut in half. Selling or exchanging mushrooms gathered incidentally is a violation of Federal Regulations (Title 36 CFR 261.6F), punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisonment for not more than 6 months, or both.

A mushroom permit issued from any of the following four forests is valid on all four forests.

  • Deschutes National Forest
  • Fremont-Winema National Forests
  • Umpqua National Forest
  • Willamette National Forest

Commercial Use

Mushrooms collected for the purpose of selling require the purchase of a commercial use permit. Commercial permits (for mushrooms other than matsutakes) are available throughout the year. Permits can be purchased using cash, check or credit card.

The 2017 Matsutake Season opens September 5 and runs through November 5, 2017. Anyone harvesting Matsutake mushrooms on National Forest land must purchase a commercial harvest permit. Click here for details

Mushroom Etiquette

  • Tread lightly while searching for mushrooms
  • Replace soil disturbed while collecting
  • No raking or digging with shovels
  • Collect mushrooms only in permissible area
  • Harvesting mushrooms is not permitted in the following designated sensitive areas: Wilderness areas, botanical areas, scenic areas, and research areas.

WARNING: Many edible mushrooms have poisonous look-a-likes. Be certain of what you’re picking before consuming.

Details on forest products permits and regulations


Posted on September 12, 2018 at 3:33 pm
Nadine Scott | Posted in Explore the McKenzie |

Paradise Campground has a lot to Offer

by US Forest Service

photo by Paul Allen


Paradise Campground is indeed a paradise for campers. Tucked within a lush, old-growth forest of Douglas fir and western red cedar, the area portrays a sub-tropical vibe along the banks of the McKenzie River, where catch-and-release trout and steelhead fishing is a popular activity, along with whitewater rafting and kayaking.

Natural Features:

Paradise sits on a bend of the river at an elevation of 1,600 feet. Ferns and other moisture loving plants cover the ground, and mosses drape the trees. The campground is in the heart of Willamette National Forest, which spans 1.6 million acres on the western slopes of the Cascade Range.


Rafters and kayakers live it up in the whitewater of the McKenzie River. A boat ramp is located on-site.

The McKenzie River National Recreation Trail begins nearby, and is a favorite among hikers and mountain bikers.


A number of sites face the river, while many others are tucked into the scenic forest. Flush toilets are dispersed throughout the campground and parking spurs are paved. Educational programs are provided at the amphitheater.

Nearby Attractions:

A golf course is located about 7 miles west of the campground.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Amphitheater
  • Biking
  • Boat Ramp
  • Campfire Rings
  • Drinking Water
  • Fishing
  • Flush Toilets
  • Hiking
  • Host
  • Kayaking
  • Picnic Area
  • River Access
  • Vault Toilets
  • Whitewater Rafting
Know Before You Go
  • Be bear aware; keep all food out of sight in approved containers or locked inside your vehicle and remove all food from the area after eating
  • No electric hookups at this facility
  • This campground has first-come, first-served sites
  • A fee will be charged for additional vehicles
  • No firearms, fireworks or chainsaws allowed
  • For more information on Willamette National Forest, click here
  • Don’t Move Firewood: Please protect Pacific Northwest forests by preventing the spread of invasive species. Firewood can carry insects and diseases that can threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference by obtaining and burning your firewood near your camping destination. Visit for further information.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
44.18611, -122.09611
44°11’10″N, 122°5’46″W

From Eugene, Oregon, take I-105 east to McKenzie Highway 126 and drive 55 miles to McKenzie Bridge. The campground is located on the left side of Highway, 5 miles beyond McKenzie Bridge.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:


Blue River  OR

Phone Number:

Information:  (801)226-3564

Posted on September 5, 2018 at 11:27 am
Nadine Scott | Posted in Explore the McKenzie |

Despite Fire, McKenzie Area Still Very Much Open for Recreation (mostly)



It is still a great time to visit the McKenzie River Recreation area, despite the unfortunate wild fire at Cougar. What you should know, though, is that many sections of the McKenzie are unaffected by the blaze, and there is plenty of McKenzie River Trail accessible to the west of Trail Bridge Campground and to the east of Carmen Reservoir. Cougar Reservoir and Blue River Reservoir are available.


Businesses remain open, and there are rivers, lakes, biking trails and hiking trails still open and available in most areas.


The light rain has helped to calm the fire down, but it did not get rid of burning under cliff overhangs and within trees and roots.


If you attempt to visit Blue Pool you are likely to encounter law enforcement and a citation up to $280, as they are working hard to make the area safe again. Once hazards are removed and the fire is completely contained, work will begin to make the area safe and accessible. 


Just remember you have options, and there is plenty of adventure to be had on the McKenzie. For more information, call the McKenzie Ranger Station at 541-822-3381 or visit


Posted on August 24, 2018 at 3:02 pm
Nadine Scott | Posted in Explore the McKenzie |

Protecting our Drinking Water

Source:  EWEB Website

The McKenzie River is the sole source of drinking water for nearly 200,000 people in the Eugene metropolitan area. We have a number of utility and customer programs aimed at protecting this valuable resource.



When you turn on your tap, you expect the water to be pure, healthy and tasty.  That is why we work hard to deliver water that meets or exceeds all state and federal health standards. In fact, we are proud to say we have never violated any Environmental Protection Agency water quality standard. Public health is our highest priority.  We care about the health of the families that drink our water and we want to help limit your exposure to lead in drinking water.  The main source of lead in water in the Eugene area is old household plumbing. Lead solder was commonly used in homes built or plumbed with copper pipes before 1986.  Lead also can be found in brass faucets and fixtures installed prior to 2014.



A few things to know about your water’s reliability

Limited supply: EWEB has enough storage to provide only one or two days of drinking water if something happens to our McKenzie River source.

Community risk: A reliable supply of clean water is vital to public health, safety and our economy, especially in an emergency.

System resilience: EWEB’s strategy to replace and renew our water system will increase resilience now, and for future generations.

Affordable: Careful planning will balance water reliability and affordability, which are both important community values.

Posted on August 16, 2018 at 9:46 am
Nadine Scott | Posted in Explore the McKenzie |

The Rolls-Royce of Mountain Bikes

Postcast and article by Noah Kagan |

Yeti Cycles shouldn’t be around today.

Years ago, they were almost bankrupt — but today, they’re the Rolls-Royce of mountain bikes. 🚵

Their bikes have won best mountain bike of the year, professional competitions, and they built a brand that people LOVE.

Plus, their results are impressive. They’ve grown revenue 30% every year for five years in a row!

I wanted to know how they did it, so I invited Chris Conry, the co-founder of Yeti Cycles, to share his story.

You’ll learn:

  1. How to decide which products to create for your brand
  2. What Yeti does differently to recruit and hire the best team members who fit the brand
  3. How Yeti built a much-loved brand — and became the “Rolls-Royce” of mountain bikes

Things we talk about in this episode:

Posted on August 13, 2018 at 10:21 am
Nadine Scott | Posted in Explore the McKenzie |

Road Trip: McKenzie River Valley

by Tina Lassen

A string of riverside communities greets the wild and oh-so-scenic McKenzie River as it drains down from the Cascade Mountains and tumbles west toward Eugene. Easy to reach along the McKenzie River Highway (OR-126), they’re your gateway to this river valley’s incomparable natural attractions. Lane Transit District will even handle the driving, with bus service from Eugene to McKenzie Bridge.


The McKenzie River Highway heads west from Eugene-Springfield, first crossing its namesake river at Hendricks Bridge Park near Walterville. One of many public access spots along the river, the park has a grassy picnic area and a busy boat launch. The cold and clear McKenzie has long been an angler’s favorite. The McKenzie drift boat originated here, a dory specifically designed to navigate the river’s current in search of summer steelhead and spring chinook. Many area guides work the McKenzie in one of these time-tested boats. The McKenzie River Guides Association, based in Walterville, provides a list of qualified guides and outfitters. The organization has been active in river conservation since the 1930s.

Leaburg and Vida

The McKenzie River Highway never strays far from the river east of Walterville. The state heavily stocks this stretch of the river with fish, so it’s particularly popular for trout fishing. (Healthy wild trout populations reside in the river’s upper reaches and downstream of Hendricks Bridge.) The Leaburg Hatchery raises more than a million rainbow trout and steelhead every year. Visitors can view and feed a variety of fish in the facility’s landscaped show ponds and watch spawning chinook from a viewing platform in the fall.

Two miles east, the Goodpasture Covered Bridge stretches 165 feet across the river; it’s the second-longest covered bridge in the state. Built in 1938, the cheery white structure is made extra charming by a row of 10 louvered and arched windows. The river grows more rambunctious a few miles upstream near Vida, where it tumbles through the Class III Marten Rapids near Ben & Kay Dorris County Park. Local rafting companies like Helfrich River Outfitter and High Country Expeditions offer a variety of trips, from mellow to exciting, on the Upper and Lower McKenzie.

Many area lodgings put you close enough to hear the splash of the rapids. East of Vida, 5 acres of gardens surround the lovely Eagle Rock Lodge, with 400 feet of river frontage for expansive views. Also near Vida, the Wayfarer Resort’s 13 cabins sit along the waters of the McKenzie River and Marten Creek.

Blue River

Along with the McKenzie River (which is also very blue), Blue River offers access to the calmer waters of Blue River Lake and Cougar Reservoir. Follow Forest Road 19 to the northwest corner of Cougar Reservoir, where a short hike leads to the steaming pools of Terwilliger Hot Springs, or Cougar Hot Springs. FR-19 is also known as Aufderheide Scenic Drive, leading south past the Three Sisters Wilderness. It’s part of the West Cascades Scenic Byway.

If you’re impressed with the majesty of the Pacific Northwest’s old-growth forests in the region — and who wouldn’t be? — treat yourself to an even more astounding view. Using rock-climbing equipment, certified guides at the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute in Blue River will guide you up into the canopy of a 280-foot Douglas fir in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest.

McKenzie Bridge

McKenzie Bridge takes its name from the Belknap Covered Bridge, which spans the river near Rainbow. Hikers and bikers know the community as the southern trailhead of the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, a 26-mile route that parallels the Upper McKenzie as it tumbles through lava flows and over waterfalls. Mountain bikers consider it one of the top rides in the country; Cog Wild runs shuttles to simplify logistics for the adventure, usually ridden one way, north to south. Horse Creek Lodge & Outfitters rents bikes for this excursion and also offers a shuttle service. Hikers can make several different loop hikes off the main trail, including one that visits Sahalie and Koosah falls. If you want to just kick back and watch the river flow, book a quaint riverside cottage at the Caddisfly Resort. The McKenzie River Ranger Station has maps and information to help plan your adventure.

Posted on July 24, 2018 at 12:53 pm
Nadine Scott | Posted in Explore the McKenzie |

McKenzie River Trail Named #1 Trail in America


Whether Biking, Walking or Running – this is one of the most spectacular trails to travel.

Through lush 300 year old old growth forrests and lava feilds, along side lakes so clean you can see over a100 feet to the bottom!

Traverse handmade log bridges over the multiple streams and rivers that join to make up the majestic McKenzie River.  Follow the river as it abruptly stops and dissapears into a lava flow and mysteriously starts again some distance later – seemingly out of nowehere.

Stop and wonder how the Tomolich pool could be such a vibrant topaz blue.  Continue down the trail following a wild mountain river and her many large and small waterfalls.

Once you’ve spent some time here, its easy to see why Bike Magazine and her readers gave the McKenzie River Trail its prized #1 spot for best trails in America.


Posted on July 16, 2018 at 12:33 pm
Nadine Scott | Posted in Explore the McKenzie |