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Ridgeline Trail System

Other Link Ridgeline Trail Map

Features

  1. Hiking Trail
  2. Looped path
  3. Parking lot
  4. Restrooms
  5. Shared-use trail
  6. Trailheads
  7. Viewpoint


Two people hiking a trailRidgeline Description

Eugene’s Ridgeline system rings the southern edge of the city with a series of large, semi-connected parklands. Valued deeply by the community for recreation, open space, and habitat values, the Ridgeline system is accessed through a network of over 12 miles of trail starting at seven main trailheads.

Suzanne Arlie Park
Spencer Butte, the city’s highest point, crowns the Ridgeline at 2,065 feet in elevation. Other Ridgeline natural areas include Suzanne Arlie Park (photo at left, looking west), Amazon Headwaters, Mt. Baldy, Blanton Ridge, Moon Mountain, South Eugene Meadows, and Wild Iris Ridge.

Douglas-fir forests, Oregon white oak savannas, hilltop prairies, and riparian headwaters can all be found along the Ridgeline. Spencer Butte is host to rocky outcrop and herbaceous bald plant communities, rare in the Willamette Valley. Hiking, trail running, and mountain biking are all popular activities on the Ridgeline trail system. In addition, the Ridgeline is a great place for bird watching and botanizing year-round. Dedicated community volunteer groups help with trail maintenance and improvements and treating invasive species.

We owe Eugene’s forebears a debt of gratitude for their foresight in preserving Spencer Butte. At the time of its purchase, it was almost three miles south of the city limits. A ca. 1937 quote from F. M. Wilkins, then the 90-year old chairman of the Eugene Park Commission, former mayor, and pioneer businessman:
"And remember, Eugene boys and girls will be climbing Spencer Butte fifty and one hundred years from today, to be inspired by looking over a city built out to the very foot of the Butte."

In true Eugene style, a major portion of Spencer Butte was purchased in 1940 through a grassroots campaign that collected contributions no larger than $5, in order to let everyone “buy a piece” of the butte.

In addition to the hiking trails, the city rents out the Spencer Butte Challenge Course, a ropes course, to groups. For more information, contact the Outdoor Adventure program at 541-682-6324.

Just a short bike or car ride away, there are ample opportunities to enjoy nature along Eugene’s ridgeline parks system.

Changes Coming to the Ridgeline
The Eugene Parks Foundation, Obsidians, and Disciples of Dirt are partnering with Eugene Parks and Open Space to build and maintain an exciting new high priority Ridgeline Trail connection. This multi-use trail will extend just over a half mile, and feature a bridge that spans one of the headwater tributaries of Amazon Creek, while connecting Fox Hollow trail with the East Dillard trailhead. This relatively small segment of trail will effectively leverage three miles of continuous trail for mountain bikers and six miles of continuous trail for hikers. The experience of hikers and bikers will be dramatically improved by allowing safe passage to Mt. Baldy without having to traverse along the shoulder of Dillard Road.

The Eugene Parks Foundation is currently raising funds for the project, through private sponsorships and grants, and is hopeful construction will begin in 2014. This project is possible because the City’s partners (the Obsidians, the Eugene Parks Foundation, and Disciples of Dirt) are pitching in to help maintain the new trail after it is constructed. To learn more about the project or to make a donation, please visit www.eugeneparksfoundation.org or contact Eugene Park Stewards Coordinator, Carrie Karl.

Directions
To get to the most popular trailhead at Spencer Butte: from the intersection of 29th and Willamette, go south on Willamette for 2.1 miles. At 52nd street, continue south on South Willamette for 1.2 miles. The parking lot entrance will be on your left at the sign for Spencer Butte Park. For other trailheads, see the Ridgeline Trail Map.

Learn more about volunteering with Eugene Park Stewards or visiting a Friends group, get involved with upcoming volunteer opportunities and subscribe to Eugene Park Stewards' monthly e-newsletter.



Group of bicyclistsContacts
  • Park planner: Philip Richardson, Landscape Architect
    Ph: 541-682-4906
  • Eugene Park Stewards South Region Volunteer Coordinator: Carrie Karl
    Ph: 541-682-4850
  • Maintenance & operations issues: John Clark
    Ph: 541-682-4826

Documents 
Ridgeline Trail Map