Waterfall, Wine and a Covered Bridge: Territorial Highway

Territorial Highway begins a few miles into Benton County and runs the length of Lane County from north to south, ending a few miles into Douglas County. In a not so distant past, travel through the Willamette Valley during the rainy months was absolutely miserable, if not downright impossible; depending on the flow of the  rivers. Territorial Highway can trace it's roots back to 1851, as part of the Applegate Trail, making it one of Oregon's oldest roads. Short history of the Applegate Trail.

Near the Lane/Benton County Line

As the weather warms up it becomes more and more difficult to stay off my motorcycle. I don't care where I'm going, I can just pull a map out and find some random roads and be gone all day. Riding is a close second to hiking for me. This post will be about my ride down Territorial Highway and my trip to Siuslaw Falls.

Coyote Creek Covered Bridge

Starting out as the clouds were coming in I got a sinking feeling that my ride would end up being a cold rainy one, thankfully it wasn't. As I arrived in Monroe I came across a group of about 10 other riders and because I had pulled over to get a picture of the start of the highway they were all asking me if I needed help, which was definitely awesome.

Northern Terminus: Junction With 99W at Monroe, Oregon
Not only is Territorial Highway beautiful, it's loaded with wineries. I sadly didn't have the time to stop, but if you need more information about the best wine in the world, definitely visit this site: Oregon Wine Country
After about 8 miles on Territorial you will come to a junction with Highway 36, if you're heading south you will head west about 2 miles, next you will turn left(south) back on to Territorial.

Junction With 36 at Cheshire, Oregon
 Shortly after you turn back south you will come across the very small community of Franklin, Oregon. There is a pretty awesome looking old church there. After approximately 10 more miles you will come across the towns of Elmira and Veneta. Veneta has everything you might need for a hike or a ride. If you run non-ethanol premium you can wait until Lorane. Approximately 4 miles past Veneta is the town of Crow. They have a gas station and basic market.

Gas Station at Crow, Oregon

I love the section between Crow and your next town of Lorane, about 13 miles south. In Lorane they have 1 gas station, with non-ethanol ( 4.99 per gallon) and 2 small stores. You pass by Siuslaw River Road,
which you can take for an awesome detour to Siuslaw Falls County Park. Directions to the Falls

Welcome Sign

Siuslaw Falls

The park is very small and provides little in the way of facilities. Only a few benches and a fire pit. This is more than okay for me though. Just the beautiful river and no one around is enough for me. I'm sure it gets at least somewhat busy during the Summer judging by different footpaths and the rope swing. But if you go in the off season, you'll like to have it to yourself.

Just Downstream From the Falls
Fire Pit Behind the Entry Sign
This park would definitely be awesome on a hot summer day when you need to cool off from a long ride. I can't wait to come back and jump off the rope swing!

Now back on Territorial you continue south for another 9 miles and you come to the end of the 40 mile ride. It comes to an end approximately 4 miles into Douglas County and those last few miles are fun if you like some fairly tight corners. The only downside is that it's through a tree-farm. Once you arrive at the end of Territorial you have a few choices to make, if you head left at the junction you will soon come to the tiny town of Curtin. It's somewhat creepy, but there is a large pizza place. It use to have some old carnival rides, but they have since disappeared. You will also find a junction with I-5 here.

Southern Terminus: Junction with Curtin Road

Rock City Pizza Curtin, Oregon

There are near endless opportunities to explore this lightly populated area of (mostly) Lane County; by car, motorcycle, foot or bike.

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