The Umpqua Lighthouse ride is at once both challenging and rewarding. Kick off from the historic Umpqua River Lighthouse and be pushed north by sea wind past waves and sand to Reedsport. Then turn east along the Route 38 Scenic Byway (and fine bike-way) and ride along the cool banks of the Umpqua River’s main stem. Some riders can complete this ride in one day. Others might want to break it up into two days with an overnight stop near Elkton. Accommodations are limited there, so plan ahead.
Make a stop at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area offered to you by the Bureau of Land Management, then pedal along the wide river valley to Scottsburg with numerous river views and rest stops along the way.
Heading east out of Scottsburg, once the furthest point a boat could reach as pioneers moved into the Umpqua Valley, you pass both a grocery and a restaurant. Then ride through working landscapes with unique ranch, forest, and river views around every corner until you reach Elkton.
As you reach the western edge Elkton, be sure to stop at the Butterfly Pavilion and Historic Fort Umpqua before entering the town proper. Two wineries, River’s Edge, and Brandborg, await you in Elkton as well as Arlene’s restaurant, the Elkton grocery store, and Tomaselli’s coffee and pastry shop. Grab something good to eat and head down to the nearby river bank. If you linger in the area the area, local residents also have some short local bike routes you might enjoy. A small bike-repair business operates by appointment just outside Elkton: Elkton Bike Station. Also, check out Randi Jo Fabrications, a business that makes bike clothing accessories.
As you leave Elkton, turn right onto Route 138, also an Oregon Scenic Byway, and ride past Bradley Vineyards and then through rolling hills and long valleys to the wild spot next to the Umpqua River main stem called “Tyee.” There’s a small restaurant and store there called Tyee Landing. While cycling towards and in the Tyee Area note that the roads narrow and the roads often have logging trucks, RVs, or other large vehicles. Stay safe!
After Tyee, it’s up the only long, steep hill on the route (roads narrow considerably here) and on into the bustling community of Sutherlin where many services await. Leaving Sutherlin, you head south on Old 99 through the tiny crossroads of Wilbur to Roseburg where you’ll find breweries, good food, an urban winery, and lodging. Roseburg also offers two businesses that provide bicycle repair and accessories: Canyon Creek Cycles and Waldron’s Outdoor Sports.
To reach the starting point for this ride, drive to the Coast and take Route 101 to Winchester Bay. Then, follow the Umpqua Lighthouse signs to the County Park.