Central Oregon is home to some of the finest riding in the state. Oregon's State designated Scenic Bikeways are carefully picked from locally proposed routes to highlight the best of the best road cycling in Oregon. So here are your riding options with the narrative provided by RideOregon and the Three Sisters Scenic Bikeway committee.
Twin Bridges Scenic Bike route - The Twin Bridges Loop is the most popular countryside riding loop from Bend. Beginning and ending in historic Drake Park in downtown Bend, the route is one of the premier scenic cycling routes in Oregon. Featuring 36 miles of rolling intermediate terrain, the Twin Bridges Loop offers cyclists breathtaking views of snow capped mountains, rolling forests, and inspiring high desert terrain. It takes approximately two to three hours to complete depending on riding pace. View ride details
Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway - the route provides riders with one of the most scenic and rewarding rides in Central Oregon. Starting in the “Old West” town of Sisters and ending at Smith Rock State Park outside the small town of Terrebonne, this route takes riders past a variety of historical sites, shows the gentle curves of the Deschutes River and frames spectacular views of the Cascade Mountains, ending with the dramatic walls of Smith Rock State Park. Smith Rock, with the Crooked River winding at its base, is the result of eroded volcanoes that left multicolored formations that tower above the valley floor. It’s a great place to watch rock-climbers from all over the world tackle the park’s thousands of ascent routes. View Ride Details
McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway - McKenzie Pass is without a doubt the most spectacular ride in Central Oregon, showcasing forests on both the east and west sides of the Cascades (they’re different) as well as a lava-rock moonscape at the top that’s unlike anything you’ll probably ever see on a bike ride again. The route begins at the Village Green Park in the center of Sisters. The vast majority of the route is on Oregon Route 242 (selected to be on the U.S. Register of Historic Places, March 2011). Most of Oregon Route 242 is closed during winter months, but bicycles are usually allowed in the spring before it’s reopened to cars – providing miles of traffic-free road riding as the snow melts. View Ride Details
Crooked River Canyon - Out our backdoor. This ride starts in Prineville and follows the Crooked River south out of town. Picturesque views of the surrounding llama farms and cattle ranches and then enters the Crooked River Canyon. The road meanders through the canyon’s towering basalt cliffs, gently curving and climbing to a scenic view near Palisades Campground before descending back toward the river. Riders will pedal by Chimney Rock Recreation Site, a popular picnicking spot and fun place to watch local anglers fly fish in the Crooked River. Observant riders might spot resident wildlife like deer, great blue herons and golden eagles. View Ride Details
Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway - The Madras Mountain Views Scenic Bikeway is a peaceful 30-mile loop through Central Oregon. It offers amazing views of Oregon’s volcanoes and agricultural and pastoral scenery. Riders enjoy views of all seven major volcanic peaks in Oregon: Mount Jefferson, the county namesake. Riders cruise on a smooth, paved road with several gravel overlooks above The Cove Palisades State Park and Lake Billy Chinook. These overlooks are great places to see eagles, raptors, deer and even snakes or lizards. View Ride Details
Sherar’s Falls Loop - This 33-mile ride is challenging, but so worth it. The climbs are extended and the Deschutes river views are vast.You’ll cruise through quaint downtown Maupin then hit the hills for hairpin turns along a hill climber’s delight. A guardrail at mile 17 protects you from the steep drop to Sherar’s Falls where you can stop for an impressive view. Car traffic is light to moderate and this ride is suitable for spring, summer and fall riding. View Ride Details
Twickenham-Mitchell Loop - This one is the real deal. A challenging 66-mile, 6,500 foot climb loop. What you get for your efforts is incredible central Oregon scenery, geological eye-candy, and very little car traffic. This is part of the even longer Painted Hill Scenic Bikeway (130 total miles)
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