A Roundabout Ride Through Umpqua Valley’s Forested Hills and Vineyards
The ride starts and ends at Stewart Park in Roseburg, Oregon. The park is a day-use-only facility and is located along the South Umpqua River on the Southwest side of town. Take Oregon I-5 exit 124 West on Harvard Avenue. Pass the Umpqua Valley Arts Center and turn right onto Stewart Parkway, cross the bridge, and turn right into Stewart Park. The park offers restrooms, pavilions, picnic areas, accessible playgrounds, disc golf course, ball fields, sand-court volleyball, and multi-use paths. It is located near the Roseburg YMCA and it features a retired steam locomotive popular with visitors and kids. In summer, free live music is offered in Stewart Park on Tuesdays at the Half Shell Pavilion.
The Umpqua Valley Arts Center features local and regional art displays in several galleries. The Arts Center was formerly the Oregon Old Soldiers Home, established in 1917–the beautiful, if humble, beginning of today’s sprawling VA Center nearby.
Our Favorite Little Oregon Canyon takes you through beautiful valleys and mountains. The historic town of Lookingglass has a country store where you might obtain some riding supplies. Ride through Strickland Canyon and past the Girardet Winery and tasting room. Ride features include some steady climbs and excellent downhill runs with a view of the Callahan Ridge.
A nice long ride, 38 miles, it starts out with a few miles of climbing along Lookingglass Road, which has narrow, but adequate shoulders, and occasionally heavy truck and automobile traffic. When the gravel pit at the top of the climb is in operation, the truck traffic is particularly noticeable. However, that traffic is quickly left behind once riders pass the gravel operation at the crest of the road. After the crest, riders get to coast down a long stretch into Lookingglass. Strickland Canyon Road is a great road winding along Lookingglass Creek. Hwy 42 has adequate shoulders but has considerable truck and RV traffic. Reston Road is an enjoyable, winding road with a steady climb on Reston Road and Coos Bay Wagon Road.
Once you’ve completed your Little Oregon Canyon ride, consider stopping by one of Roseburg, Oregon’s many excellent restaurants or brewpubs for some refueling. Bike repairs and services are available at Canyon Creek Cycles and Waldron’s Outdoor Sports.