hikes4-0609
Image: Ian Sane

There’s green at the end of the tunnel at Willamette Mission State Park.

The Valley

Mary’s Peak

Biking Trail

Hard At 4,097 feet, Mary’s Peak is the highest point in the Coast Range. That’s short by Oregon standards, but still tall enough to properly jellify the legs of all but the hardiest of pedalers. Unseasoned bikers can try the East Ridge, which is shorter and lined with columbine, bleeding heart, and starflower. But the tougher North Ridge offers awe-inspiring perspectives on Mounts Hood and Jefferson, as well as one of the most thrilling technical downhill experiences in the state. —BWB

ROUND TRIP: Up to 12 miles NEAREST TOWN: Philomath DISTANCE FROM DOWNTOWN: 102 miles PACK: Mountain Biking Oregon; US Forest Service Trail Map No. 1350 at www.fs.fed.us/r6 or USGS Mary’s Peak map

Valley of the Giants

Hiking Trail

Moderate This fifty-one-acre park delivers on its name and makes a worthy wine-country diversion. At the heart of the loop sit thirty-five enormous Douglas firs and western hemlocks, measuring about twenty feet around at the base of their trunks. Most of these behemoths, which stand guard over an impressive array of wild ginger and red huckleberry, are more than four hundred years old. Make sure to pay your respects to Big Guy, the preserve’s thirty-five-foot wide, two-hundred-foot-tall fir that fell victim to a windstorm in 1981. (Note: The gates typically are open only on weekends during daylight hours. Call the Bureau of Land Management, 503-375-5646, ahead of time to ensure you can get in.) —BWB

ROUND TRIP: 1.3 miles NEAREST TOWN: Falls City DISTANCE FROM DOWNTOWN: 93 miles PACK: Hiking Oregon; USGS Warnicke Creek map

Willamette Mission State Park

Biking Trail

Easy Whether you come for the history (in 1834, this became the site of Oregon’s first Christian mission, and a few years later, the nearby Wheatland Ferry was the first to usher covered wagons across the Willamette River) or the four miles of paved bike paths winding beneath walnut and filbert groves, there’s plenty here to stimulate both your brain and your calves. (And, yes, the trails are hiker-friendly, too.) Our favorite attraction: the nation’s largest black cottonwood tree. Perched next to Mission Lake, it stands fourteen stories tall and dates back to 1735. —BWB

ROUND TRIP: Up to 4 miles NEAREST TOWN: Keizer DISTANCE FROM DOWNTOWN: 43 miles PACK: Mountain Biking Oregon; Willamette Mission State Park map at oregonstateparks.org/park; $3 day-use fee