One Sweet Little Oregon River is a lovely ride through forested lands with frequent creek views and, for most of its’ length, low traffic volumes. Because it’s an out-and-back route, you choose how far you want to ride, but it’s also the kind of ride where the out-then-back experiences differ enough that you are likely to be rested and refreshed by both. If you go to the end of the pavement and then return to the start, you cover about 40 miles with only gradual climbs on the way.
Start and finish the Sweet Little Oregon River ride at the Forest Service parking lot at Hwy 138 and Glide Loop Drive, Glide., Oregon Restrooms are available at the overlook and across the street at Colliding Rivers Exploration Center. At Colliding Rivers Exploration Center, you will find an interpretation of the unique hydrological event taking place there. As the name suggests, Colliding Rivers is the only place in the world where two rivers…the North Umpqua and Sweet Rivers,…run headlong into one another in white-water chaos for much of the year.
Before heading out, you may pick up food and drink at several places in Glide, including Munchies, Atom, and the Glide Service Station. Once on the road, a country store sits near the covered bridge location at about the ride’s half-way point. You will also pass the Wolf Creek Job Corps Center where they would be happy to let you rest and water up.
Near the end of the paved road is a rock slide on the north side of the road. This slide remains active year-round but the Department of Transportation keeps it open for regular vehicle traffic. Watch your track, and for falling rock or debris on the road, as you pass through the area. When you reach gravel roads on the Umpqua National Forest, you’ve come to the end of this ride.
Riders who would like to do some gravel grinding and bike-camping can continue on the Forest Service gravel roads to many lakes and forest sites further up.
To get to Glide, take Oregon I-5 Exit 124 and follow Route 138 East about 17 miles. The Colliding Rivers Overlook and North Umpqua District Ranger office will be on your left as you enter the town.