Best Spots for Enjoying the Outdoors in Eugene

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Holt Homes is proud to be a homebuilder in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Today, we wanted to share some exciting activity ideas for one of our beautiful communities, East Mountain, located in Eugene, Oregon. We partnered with local area expert and writer, Jennifer Rouse, to help bring you a couple amazing outdoor adventures to enjoy in the neighborhood.

With a nickname like Tracktown, USA, it’s no secret that Eugene is a haven for runners. It’s also an outdoorsy city, surrounded by green hills and crisscrossed with public trails where nature-lovers can experience the outdoors in a variety of ways without ever leaving the city. 

Here are five of our favorite ways to explore in Eugene.


  1. Hike Spencer Butte [17 minutes or 9.3 miles from our East Mountain community]. The highest peak in the Willamette Valley sits right at the southern edge of the city. The Main Summit Trail is a steep but pleasant 2.25 mile round-trip hike, with the first three-quarters of a mile under a dense, shady tree canopy. For the final quarter-mile ascent, tree cover disappears and a series of stone steps beckon you to the summit. Perch yourself on a rock at the top and admire stunning views of Eugene, the surrounding valley, and multiple Cascades peaks. 
  2. Wander Hendricks Park [6 minutes or 2 miles from our East Mountain community]. For a less challenging but still lovely outing, meander Hendricks Park. This 80-acre green space has a surprise around every corner: a native plant garden, a picnic pavilion from the 1930s with a natural stone fireplace, a swing set that faces the sunset. If you visit between March and May, make sure to explore the northwest corner, where you’ll find the Rhododendron Garden [7 minutes or 2 miles from our East Mountain community]. More than 6,000 varieties of rhododendrons line the trails with bursts of spring color.
  3. Run Pre’s Trail [13 minutes or 5.4 miles from our East Mountain community]. Have you really experienced Eugene if you haven’t gone for a run (or a jog, or a stroll) on Pre’s Trail? Decades after his medals at the 1972 Olympics, Steve Prefontaine’s star still shines bright in this sports-loving city. The 4-mile trail is intentionally unpaved--its bark-chip surface was Pre’s idea. After training in Scandinavia, where he found soft-surface trails in almost every city, the track star suggested to Eugene city officials that they create a similar path here. The result is a flat, easy route entirely contained within 373-acre Alton Baker Park [9 minutes or 4.6 miles from our East Mountain community]-- an enjoyable outing even if you’re not a running legend.
  4. Paddle the Willamette (or the Canoe the Canal) [10 minutes or 4.6 miles from our East Mountain community] -- The Willamette River runs right through the heart of the Eugene. More than just a pretty landmark, it's also the only designated National Water Trail in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re an experienced paddler, get out and enjoy a day of epic canoeing, kayaking, or paddle boarding. Watch osprey soar overhead and see herons and egrets wade the shallows; stop on small gravel bars and islands for a private picnic. If you’re newer to paddle sports, practice on the Canoe Canal that runs through Alton-Baker Park. The 2.5 mile long waterway is a protected, shallow offshoot of the mainstem Willamette -- perfect for learning to paddle.
  5. Ride the Ruth Bascom [8 minutes or 4.6 miles from our East Mountain community] or the Ridgeline [10 minutes or 3.7 miles from our East Mountain community]. If you prefer to experience the outdoors on two wheels, you’re in luck -- Eugene boasts multiple bike paths and trails. One of the prettiest is the Ruth Bascom Riverfront Pathway. Twelve miles of paved, interconnected multi-use paths let you explore both the north and south banks of the Willamette River, with several pedestrian/bike bridges connecting the two sides. Feeling adventurous? Tackle the Ridgeline Trail -- this steep trail system is the only forest trail in Eugene open to mountain bikers.

For more info about Eugene’s natural spaces, check out these local resources:

Eugene, Cascades & Coast

City of Eugene Recreation Department

Willamette Valley Visitors Association


Jennifer Rouse is Northwest-based writer and fifth-generation Oregonian. She loves running, wandering through bookstores, and sampling local wine and cheese. Alongside her husband and three daughters, she likes to explore hidden corners of Oregon via car, foot, bike and canoe. Jennifer also writes for Travel Oregon, Oregon State University, and several newspapers around the state.


If you have questions about the other areas in the Pacific Northwest that we build in, drop Holt Homes a line! Or check out the map on the Holt Homes website that shows where all of their communities are located across Oregon and Washington.



About Holt Homes

For more than three decades, Holt Homes has built new construction homes for families in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The quality and experience of our people, the ease and efficiency of our approach, and the livability of our communities works hand-in-hand to make Holt Homes the largest locally-grown home builder in the region. For more information, live chat or call us at (971)-299-2799.

*All selections subject to change depending on availability