Are you looking for a region that showcases everything Oregon is most famous for? With lush forests, raging rivers, fresh air, mountain views, waterfalls, abundant wildlife, wonderful trails, and plenty of natural beauty, the McKenzie River area has it all, and the charming town of Vida is the perfect home base! If you're looking to take advantage of the fishing, rafting, hiking, biking, or other outdoor opportunities here in Oregon, staying in a vacation rental is a fantastic way to have a true nature-filled experience.
Just about 30 miles east of Eugene, the small town of Vida is perched on the banks of the McKenzie River. Stretching from Eugene up into the Willamette National Forest, the McKenzie River starts at beautiful Clear Lake and runs downhill to eventually join the Willamette River, linking the Willamette Valley and Central Oregon. If you've ever traveled between Eugene and Bend, you have driven on Highway 126 and passed by miles of the majestic McKenzie River along the way.
Known for the Goodpasture Bridge, a historic structure that is both the second longest covered bridge and one of the most photographed bridges in Oregon, Vida is the perfect small-town escape. Many other small communities are also nestled against the river, including Walterville, Blue River, Rainbow, Nimrod, and several others, as well as plenty of nearby cities within easy driving distance, so if you stay in one of our cabin rentals on the McKenzie River, you will be right next to all the varied outdoor activities this region has to offer.
Of course, you can't talk about this area without mentioning the famous McKenzie River Trail (25 miles east of Vida), which is known as one of the very finest hiking and mountain-biking trails in the entire country. This 26-mile trail showcases the best features of the area. Travelers can follow the river past old-growth trees, dry creek beds, waterfalls, scenic viewpoints, across streams, and by plenty of natural wonders on its way downhill to meet up with the McKenzie River Trailhead. This is the perfect way to enjoy an adventure-filled expedition, following in the footsteps of the explorers and pioneers who long ago traveled this same route.
Visitors to Vida love to go fishing for Chinook salmon, rainbow trout, and plenty of other kinds of fish. You can also go rafting and swimming on some parts of the river. In the old-growth forests that stretch in all directions, you can watch for wildlife or try some birdwatching. While you're here, you might even be able to see see endangered northern spotted owls right from the comfort of your vacation rental! If you follow the scenic highway, you will come across several fantastic viewpoints where you can enjoy the vistas of forests, river, and mountains in the distance.
Although the river itself may be the main act, there are also several other water-based attractions nearby. Take a drive over to Sahalie Falls, Koosah Falls, or any of the other cascading waterfalls in this region, and enjoy a picnic lunch while the water mist protects you from the heat of the day. Enjoy a day of boating or swimming at Clear Lake, Blue River Lake, or Cougar Reservoir. You could also visit the nearby Terwilliger Hot Springs, also called Cougar Hot Springs, for a pleasant soak in the naturally warm water. After a day spent exploring this gorgeous area and admiring the jaw-dropping sights, return to your McKenzie River lodging and rest up for another day in this forested wonderland.
When you've had your fill of all this fresh air and the peace and quiet of nature, you may decide to visit some of the other small towns that line the river. Walterville and Blue River are among the largest, and between them are several restaurants, markets, and other businesses. Just past Blue River is the wonderful Tokatee Golf Club, where you can play a round of golf while marveling at the mountain views. However you spend your stay, you can rest assured that you will be surrounded by absolutely stunning scenery wherever you go!
To truly experience the natural beauty of forests, rivers, and mountains all in one place, and to take advantage of the best mountain biking and hiking in Oregon, there's nowhere better than the McKenzie River region. A stay at one of our wonderful vacation cabins will put you within easy reach of all the adventure!
Photo Credit: Sandy Horvath-Dori via Flickr