Whether you like exploring quiet country roads or blasting down a mountain trail, Albany is a great place to travel on two wheels.
Oregon’s first-in-the-nation Scenic Bikeways program established a network of specially designated scenic bike routes around the state. The first of these bikeways, the Willamette Scenic Bikeway, runs right through Albany. Use Albany as your home base for day trip on the bikeway north to Oregon Wine Country, or south to the charming pioneer town of Brownsville. If you’re an ambitious cyclist or want a multi-day ride, plan to cycle the entire 132-mile route.
Other popular cycling routes around Albany include the 30-mile Covered Bridges Tour, which takes you through five historic covered bridges in the countryside surrounding the small town of Scio. For a map of routes in Albany and the Mid-Valley, go to http://infohub.cityofalbany.net/publicdata/PrintableMaps/bikeMapAlbany.pdf. Popular cycling events in the Albany area each year include the Strawberry Century in June and the Covered Bridge Bicycle Tour in August.
If the thrill of mountain biking is more your speed, the hills surrounding Albany are where you want to be.The McDonald-Dunn Forest just 14 miles west of Albany, is owned by Oregon State University and has an extensive network of forested trails that are popular with mountain bikers, hikers, and runners. Marys Peak, the highest mountain in the Coast Range, rewards those who make the 4,097-foot summit with panoramic views all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Marys Peak can be accessed via multiple trails; bicycles are allowed on the East Ridge, North Ridge, and Tie Trails.
To the east, the foothills and forests of the Cascades await, crisscrossed with multiple trails and logging roads. The Willamette National Forest maintains an extensive list of mountain biking trails. The trails of the South Santiam Travel Corridor are the shortest distance from Albany, and the McKenzie Travel Corridor section in far the eastern half of Linn County are among the best known. The McKenzie River Trail, which begins near Clear Lake, was voted the “Best Trail in America” by Bike Magazine readers.
If you’re not traveling with a bicycle, you can rent one at Bike N Hike, located at 424 W. First Avenue in downtown Albany.
Cycling clubs like the Santiam Spokes and Mid-Valley Bike Club can give you expert local advice on the best places to bicycle around Albany.