Aufderheide Scenic Highway
World Class Road Bike Ride – Robert Aufderheide Memorial Highway [Also part of West Cascades Scenic Byway]
Length: 145 miles / 232.0 km
Time to Allow: Plan to spend from 6 hours to several days exploring this area.
Terwilliger Hot Springs – crystal clear water, 6 soaking pools, restrooms. Open Dawn to dusk.
Aufderheide Drive was named after Robert Aufderheide, the Willamette National Forest Supervisor from 1954 until his death in 1959. (More on Robert Aufderheide below.) Previously it was know as Forest Road 19 and sometimes called the “Box Canyon Road”, is a popular 145 mile loop from the Eugene-Springfield area.
The highway consists of paved roads which carve a path through scenic forests, the historic logging community of Westfir, the Constitution Grove, Box Canyon Guard Station, the Aufderheide Memorial, Cougar Reservoir and the McKenzie Highway.
This loop follows the Middle and North Forks of the Willamette River, up Box Canyon and down the South Fork and main fork of the McKenzie River. A number of interpretive signs are located along the Aufderheide Memorial Drive for your enjoyment. Large signs explain the drive as one enters Forest Service lands outside of Westfir and Blue River.
Whether on bike or by car – Aufderheide (Hwy 19) is said to be one of Oregon’s most beautiful drives.
Whether you prefer seeing the beautiful countryside by bike or car, you won’t be disappointed. McKenzie River Resort guests can check out a CD audio tour for Aufderheide along with a map for an enjoyable afternoon trip. The drive takes about an hour and a half from start to end. Feel free to make multiple stops to enjoy the views. There are many ideal spots for picnicing. Another option is to dine in a restaurant in the small town of Oakridge at the end of the highway before finishing up your ride.
This road, formerly called Forest Road 19 and sometimes called the “Box Canyon Road”, is a popular 145 mile loop from the Eugene-Springfield area.
Aufderheide Drive is reached from the Eugene-Springfield area either by traveling the McKenzie Highway (Hwy. 126) to a point 3.5 miles above Blue River or by traveling Highway 58 and then turning north to Westfir. The road travels along the South Fork of the McKenzie River and the North Fork of the Willamette River and through Box Canyon. Numerous spots along the route are suitable for picnicking, sightseeing. and fishing. Signs along the route point out shelterwood cuttings, reforested clear-cut areas, results of a wildfire, railroad timber harvesting along the North Fork in the 1940’s and other forest management project.
A log cabin replica of the old Box Canyon guard station stands near the summit of the drive, near a roadside monument and plaque erected in Aufderheide’s memory. This is also the location of the recently completed Box Canyon Horse Camp. The horse camp provides 13 campsites which allow horse and rider to camp close together. These sites include nine single units and two double units. Associated with the campsites are 26 corrals.
There are several scenic trails in this area that access both roadless and wilderness areas. These include Chucksney Mountain trail, Grasshopper trail, and Crossing Way trail.
During his career, Aufderheide was instrumental in helping the Forest Service complete the transition from custodial management to professional intensive forest management under multiple-use principles. “Bob was an influential leader of forest managers during this important time in National Forest history,” said Sirmon.
“Bob embodied and practice multiple-use during an important growth stage of Willamette National Forest history,” said Mike Kerrick, the present Forest Supervisor. “He was a dynamic leader in forest management who made significant contributions to this state during his 25-year career.
Aufderheide Drive was named after and dedicated to the memory of Robert Aufderheide who was Willamette National Forest Supervisor from 1954 until his death in 1959.
“What an appropriate setting to honor a man who was devoted to professional forest management, “said Jeff Sirmon, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester in his address at the dedication. “I’m sure he would be delighted knowing his monument rests here in the heart of this magnificent forest.”
Other Big Rides: McKenzie Pass
Scenic Drive | Road Bike Ride | Blue River | McKenzie River area | Oakridge | Oregon | Cascade Mountains
- AddressGPS: 44.1119863, -122.23998749999998
- CategoryRoad Biking, Scenic Drives, Things To Do
- LocationMcKenzie River
- By Jessy Webster
- Email: email@example.com