Bike the Wild Rivers Scenic Bikeway

Rate this Adventure 60 miles 3000 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Michael Graw

Take in some of the best views on the southern Oregon coast by bike along this designated Scenic Bikeway.

The Wild Rivers Scenic Bikeway starts and ends in Port Orford, and includes stops at Port Orford Heads, the Wild and Scenic Elk River, and Cape Blanco. It's a perfect ride for anyone looking to see the highlights of the section of coast around Port Orford without spending the whole day in the car.

While the ride can be done as prescribed (it is an official bike route set up by the state), I'd suggest a few possible changes.  First, most of the climbing and descent along the route is an out-and-back along the Elk River at the beginning of the route, just after leaving Port Orford. While this offers great views of the river and exmplifies cycling in the Oregon Coast Range, it can't compare to being out on Highway 101 along the ocean. If you're short on time or energy, this should be the first place to cut corners.

On the other hand, definitely don't skip out on Cape Blanco - this is one of the coolest spots in Oregon. The road to get out there has some short gravel patches, so be careful, but the narrow winding pavement to get from the first viewpoint to the lighthouse is a ton of fun. The views north and south along the coast also can't be beat.

After Cape Blanco, the route would have you ride back towards Port Orford. But for those looking to push the distance up, continue heading north for another 20 miles until you reach the south end of Bandon (that's 20 miles of riding on Hwy 101 - not for inexperienced cyclists). There, turn left onto the signed Charleston-to-Bandon tour route and follow the beach loop road to get amazing views of the sea stacks along the coast in that area. Bandon is also a great place to stop for lunch.

Once you head back into Port Orford, the bikeway signs will lead you along the backroads and around the beach until you climb (short but steep!) up to the Port Orford Heads parking lot. Here, you'll want to stash your bike to hike around a bit and see the rock formations. 

While this is technically the end of the bikeway, if you've got any energy left I would highly recommend following Highway 101 south out of town for as long as you're willing to go. The views looking back towards Port Orford from just a mile or two south of town are spectacular, and another mile or so will yield views of the Redfish Rocks out at sea.  

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