A 122-mile signed scenic drive through Willamette Valley cities, farms, vineyards, and historic areas. This route was the main north-south avenue through the fertile Willamette Valley for over thirty years. Today, it offers travelers an opportunity to bypass the hustle and bustle of the Interstate, a few miles east, and take a leisurely trip through the valley’s rich farmlands, small historic communities, and quiet college towns.
Along the way, visitors travel through a variety of croplands producing Christmas trees, grass for grass seed, wheat, nursery stock, cherries, prunes, grapes, and nuts. Numerous wineries along the route offer tours and tastings. The valley is a series of basalt ridges and basins filled with rich silt and gravel transported to western Oregon from as far away as Montana. They were deposited some 12,000 years ago by huge floods following the last ice age. The valley was raised above sea level about 35,000 years ago at the same time the Coast Range mountains were lifted by shifting of tectonic plates. Gradually, through faulting and shifting, the valley was lowered and widened. Special attractions: Historic sites, wildlife refuges, wineries, McDonald Experimental Forest, Peavy Arboretum, valley scenery, and Willamette River. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more.
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