Six Great Walks in Cottage Grove

Does your New Years Resolution include getting more exercise? If so, I have great news — Cottage Grove is full of great places to get outside and enjoy a good stroll, jog, or bike ride. Over the years, I have written about several of those places here on the blog. Recently, I was getting together a list, and I thought I would share it with you.

Row River Trail along Dorena Reservoir

Row River Trail along Dorena Reservoir

 

6 Great Walks in Cottage Grove:

1. Row River Trail: Extending 15.5 miles and with six developed trail heads, the Row River Trail has a lot to offer for walking, jogging, or bike riding. We visit it often, and I’ve written about it so much here on the blog that I’ve created a page specifically for it. To find out about trail heads, some of the wildflowers, the history, and sights you’ll see along the trail click here.

Bridge along the trail at Cougar Mountain Park.

Bridge along the trail at Cougar Mountain Park.

2. Row River Nature Park (a.k.a. “the ponds” and “East Regional Park”): The roughly 2.1 mile loop trail through the Row River Nature Park makes this a great place to take a walk, and it is right in town! Much of the trail is paved and we’ve seen tons of wildlife there over the years. For a map and directions, read here.

3. Cougar Mountain Park: This park along Sears Road is one of the many places we’ve found by just pulling off the side of the road to see what was there. Part of the Willamette Greenway, Cougar Mountain Park follows the Coast Fork Willamette River and has a short loop trail. For directions, read here.

4. Lynx Hollow Park: A couple years ago I heard about this park from a group of birders. It is a great place for bird watching, fishing, and walking. Plus there is a big field there that I think is waiting for some tag football or other such sport. Few people seem to know about this park, even though it is fairly close to town. You can find directions here.

Bake Stewart Park

Gravel road, now a walking path, at Bake Stewart Park.

5. Bake Stewart Park: It used to be that no one knew about this little park. Located at the head of Dorena Reservoir, it has recently undergone a lot of changes as the Army Corps of Engineers is revitalizing the park’s habitat for native prairie wildflowers. Now it is my favorite place to see spring wildflowers. As part of the revitalization, a trail has been created linking this park to the Row River Trail. Trails at Bake Stewart include an old, gravel roadway and a dirt path through a native prairie. You can read more about it here.

6. Schwarz Campground Interpretive Trail: We stumbled upon this trail a couple years ago. Although people who camp at Schwarz Campground are probably familiar with the trail,  it isn’t advertised at all or even marked well. The 1.3 mile loop trail travels between Schwarz Campground and Dorena Reservoir and also has a nice display of spring wildflowers. You can read more here.

Now, my question for you… what have I missed? What gems are out there that I don’t know about??

Parker Creek Falls
2014 In Review

Comments

  1. I’ve been wondering what was behind that gate on Sears road and about the exact location of the Schwarz Park trails. Thanks! Three other places I’ve explored a little: the west end of the Row River Nature Park trail which takes off through the woods and up along the river behind the wastewater treatment facility beside the Disc Golf Course (a.k.a. North Park??); Blue Mountain park on Mosby Creek road with its entrance directly across from the former Blue Mountain School contains picnic areas/tables and a 1-1.5 mile loop through some nice old woods to a “pebble beach” area; the paved Weyerhauser service road running about 2.5-3 miles along the west side of Cottage Grove Lake. I’ve encountered a decent variety of woodland and water bird life in all three places and reportedly there are Pacific Lamprey in Mosby Creek (something to search for).

    • Thanks Tori – we’ve checked out many of the “Willamette Greenway” areas over the years and Cougar Mountain Park was a big surprise. A nice little loop trial runs through there, and there’s a great spot for fishing.

      When I was getting this list together I realized that I hadn’t written about North Regional Park yet (the disc golf course), so hopefully you’ll be reading about it here soon. Also we do love the Weyerhauser road, but since it is private property I’ve decided I shouldn’t really promote it here on the blog — and we have encountered log trucks there in the past, though I’m not sure if they still use it. I’ve ridden my bike along there all the way to where it intersects 6th Street and it is a nice ride. Blue Mountain Park is also a nice area, I’ve written about it on the blog but I feel like I might be missing something out there, like there is more just around the corner that I haven’t found yet.

      I’ve also gotten wind of some trails on the west side of town, but nothing concrete yet. I’m hoping this post might be revealing in that regard.

  2. Nice to have found your site! We walk the East Regional Park and Row River Trail frequently as we live close by, and would like to spread the word to anyone fishing not only here, but at all locations – it sure would be nice if everyone picked up their garbage, along with discarded fishing line. It’s all hazardous to the wildlife and other creatures. I’m always picking up litter and line, some with hooks still attached. Let’s get the word out!

    • Hi Jill – thanks for stopping by the blog! I agree about people picking up their trash, and especially fishing line. I pick up all the fishing line that I see, which is sometimes quite a bit, especially at East Regional Park. I’ve actually had a blog post brewing in my brain about this for a while now, and your comment is a good reminder to actively work on writing it!

      • ….and bait cups and cigarette butts! By September there must have been 20 cups floating around the fishing pond plus more scattered throughout the park. Also, I’ve picked up dozens and dozens of butts that line the paths there. I smoke but instead of throwing butts on the ground I put them behind the cellophane of my cigarette pack until I get home or come across a trash can. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that the careless people who leave their trash everywhere they go are not reading your blog. Sorry to continue off-topic but I just needed to get that off my chest.

  3. I tend to walk the same 3 miles of the Row River Trail every day. This post is inspiring me to branch out a little!

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