The Ridgeline Trail traverses the southern end of Eugene with an almost connected 12 miles of trails through various parklands. It’s a great way to get out and explore right in town. The adventure can start at any one of eight trailheads with the main attraction being the rocky outcropping of Spencer Butte – the city’s highest point at just over 2,000 feet.
The trail is popular spot for hiking and trail running. It’s a great place to view wildlife – deer, birds and other small animals can be seen year round.
In 1937, F. M. Wilkins, the chairman of the Eugene Park Commission, summed the city's future up best when he remarked that “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.” The land was originally purchased back in 1940, and it was almost three miles from the city limits. The Ridgeline Trail System has been cared for and treasured by the citizens of Eugene ever since.
The trail is mostly shaded and easy to follow and is very popular among hikers, mountain bikers and runners. This section of the Ridgeline Trail has many options. You can head north toward the Martin Street trailhead; west toward Spencer Butte for a beautiful view of Eugene and the surrounding valley; or east toward the Dillard West Trailhead. The west trail section has two options, a shorter trail (0.7 miles) for hikers only, and a little bit longer trail (0.9 miles) for hikers and mountain bikers. The two trails connect just before the Dillard West Trailhead. There is a small parking area for this trailhead, which fills up fast on nice days.
If you have time, be sure to check out the Cascades Raptor Center (http://cascadesraptorcenter.org/) located across the street from the trailhead parking area. This non-profit nature center and wildlife hospital will give you a change to get up close to various birds-of-prey.
Trailheads (from west to east):