A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Biking around our nice place to live

Written July 31st, 2023 by Hasso Hering

Fair warning to boaters: Don’t plan to take out your craft at Buena Vista.

Depending on where you go, there’s no shortage of sights to photograph when you go on a leisurely bike ride, as I did Saturday.  This trip took me to Takena Landing Park to check out a case of “theft from a tree,” the subject of a story here. But there was other stuff to see and talk about as well.

For instance, at the entrance to the Eagle Trail at Takena Landing, someone posted a warning that Buena Vista Park downstream is closed for construction, so don’t count on taking your boat out there.

I suppose you can’t rebuild a park in the winter. But to close the Buena Vista landing during the height of the boating season seems shortsighted, no?

Moving on, the Eagle Trail in Takena Landing crosses under the trestle that carries the Portand & Western track from the Willamette River bridge past the Golf Club of Oregon almost to Spring Hill Drive. (“Spring Hill” is two words, not one, but don’t get me started on that.)

People with paint in their hands and hearts on their minds have been busy on the trestle’s steel pilings.

The decorations on the pilings of the trestle that crosses the riverfront Eagle Trail in Takena Landing Park.

Just past the trestle, there’s a short side trail leading up to the large agricultural field that lies beyond the forested banks of the river. That route is not public property, as far as I know.

But once you’re there, it’s worth taking a break and looking around. Like this:

From the north side of the river, you have a good view of the confluence of the Willamette and Calapooia rivers at Bryant and Monteith parks.

Monteith is closed (like Buena Vista for construction), but Bryant Park is available for summer recreation along both rivers. At low water Bryant has wide beaches of pebbles and sand, with plenty of room for a day of summer fun.

A summer playground: The Willamette River at Bryant Park near the mouth of the Calapooia River.

On my way back to town, I took the walkway on the Ellsworth Street Bridge rather than risk the traffic lanes. It’s a narrow walk, and when I stopped to take a photo, a cyclist behind me had to stop as well.

Stopping on the Ellsworth Street Bridge for a view of the riverfront overlook being repaired.

Built in 1925 and originally simply known as the “Albany Bridge,” this is still a splendid bridge despite its age. But now and then one wishes that when they built it they had added a couple feet to its width.

Biking around Albany on a summer afternoon and looking around, it’s hard to avoid the conclusion I mentioned in the video: Even though the town is getting bigger all the time and sometimes traffic is a pain, it’s still a nice place to live. (hh)

9 responses to “Biking around our nice place to live”

  1. Richard Vannice says:

    Nice piece Hasso. Stop and Smell the Roses. To often we move about and never see the more attractive things that our surroundings offer. Several years ago a gentleman from Canada told me that he and his family hand spent nearly two weeks traveling from one end of Oregon to the other on 101. My first thought was, why so long? His response was that we tend to travel to the same places in our home state (Provence) and miss the “minor” sights. After our family talked about what he had said we all came up with, ” remember (sign along the roadway)? How many times have we gone past there and never stopped? There’s a lot to see right here in Oregon but we still travel far and wide to see the sights.

  2. MargaretDon Dotter says:

    Always enjoy your posts as a person that was born and raised in Albany. It’s great to see how things are now and remember how they used to be thank you

  3. Kevin says:

    Working on a boat ramp during peak season sounds foolish, but the ODF&W in water work window is from June to October on this part of the river.

  4. chris j says:

    Albany is a good place to be from or to visit. Just don’t peek into the nooks and crannies!

  5. RICH KELLUM says:

    “But to close the Buena Vista landing during the height of the boating season seems shortsighted, no?” Many times things are done for the ease of the repair not the ease of use of the thing being fixed. Rules are passed to make it easy on staff instead of fair to the public.

    • Ray Kopczynski says:

      “Many times things are done for the ease of the repair…”
      And that is as it should be – since that means quicker, more efficient, and more cost effective repair[s] IMO…

  6. Bill Kapaun says:

    The sign says “NO BOATING ACCESS”. That would infer a low, slow water condition would likely be more efficient and safer for the work being done. My guess.

  7. CB says:

    We have a student staying with us from France. This morning we rode our bicycles (7 of us) from the South Albany area to downtown mainly on the Perwinkle path (avoiding the back of Lowe’s). It was a lovely ride. It is so nice to live in a relatively flat area!

  8. Lundy says:

    Hasso, you may recall that some years back David Patton and I did a series for the Democrat-Herald that we called “Getaways.” The premise was, if you only had half a day, what were some fun places around Albany that you and your family could visit. We picked a half-dozen or so of them, went to them, took pix and did stories that we ran over the course of several weeks. It was a fun project and a reminder of recreation- and activity-rich the mid-valley is.


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