Ridgeline Trail System
|Other Link||Ridgeline Trail Map|
- Hiking Trail
- Looped path
- Parking lot
- Shared-use trail
Ridgeline Trail 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.
Spencer Butte, the city’s highest point, crowns the Ridgeline at 2,058 feet in elevation. Other Ridgeline natural areas include Suzanne Arlie Park, 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.
Just a short bike or car ride away, there are ample opportunities to enjoy nature along Eugene’s ridgeline parks system.
- 2,000 acres
- South and West regions
- Southeast Neighbors, Southwest Hills Neighborhood Association, Churchill Area Neighbors, Laurel Hill Valley Citizens, Fairmount Neighbors
The Ridgeline Trail System Welcomes its Latest Addition
In November 2014, the new multi-use Dillard Connector Trail officially opened and now provides a safe connection between Fox Hollow and Spring Boulevard trailheads and six miles of continuous Ridgeline Trail between Spring Boulevard and Blanton Road. The trail replaces a section where users previously had to travel along the shoulder of a higher speed stretch of Dillard Road. The trail also includes a 40 foot long boardwalk crossing over one of the headwaters of Amazon Creek, a protected waterway. This latest addition is yet another step closer to the long term Rivers to Ridges vision which includes a trail system running from Fern Ridge Reservoir through the Ridgeline to Mt. Pisgah and the Thurston hills. Come check it out.
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.
Park RentalsTo rent the Spencer Butte Challenge Course, a ropes course, contact the Outdoor Adventure program at 541-682-6324.
Help activate the power of parks by getting involved with our Volunteer Program. Learn new skills, meet great people, and improve the quality of life in Eugene by helping to care for our parks and open spaces.
- Parks and Open Space Email or 541-682-4800
- Parks and Natural Resource Planning: Philip Richardson, Landscape Architect
- Natural Area Operations: Jesse Cary-Hobbs, Supervisor
► ▼ Amazon Headwaters ParkView Subfacility
► ▼ Blanton RidgeView Subfacility
► ▼ Coryell RidgeView Subfacility
► ▼ Erin Noble HeadwatersView Subfacility
► ▼ Moon Mountain ParkView Subfacility
► ▼ Mt. Baldy ParkView Subfacility
► ▼ Murray Hill ParkView Subfacility
► ▼ South Eugene MeadowsView Subfacility
► ▼ Spencer Butte ParkView Subfacility
► ▼ Suzanne Arlie ParkView Subfacility
► ▼ Wild Iris Ridge ParkView Subfacility