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Willamette River Motorcycle Route
A two-three hour trip South of Portland
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  One of my favorite day trips in Oregon, South of Portland, is along the Willamette River. Along the many twisty roads, you will see some great scenery: beautiful homes, historic homes, homes that you can't believe people live in because of how trashy they are, forests, and rivers. The route includes a ferry crossing and some interesting places to stop, and plenty of food options.

If you do the round trip from and to the city of Canby, it's only about 50 miles, but it will take you at least two hours to do with no stops at all - and there are several places you might want to stop along the way: Historic Butteville Store, Champoeg State Park, the village of St. Paul, and perhaps somewhere in Canby, Aurora or Oregon City.

The Route

Click here for a larger image

The route begins on NE Butteville Rd, which is easily accessible from I5. This takes you through Butteville, past Historic Butteville Store, part of the Oregon State Park system (in our experience, it's rarely open - but when it is, supposedly, they have sandwiches for sale).

Right after the store, turn right onto Champoeg Rd NE. This will take you past Champoeg State Park (no charge for just going to the gift shop, but there is a fee to go into the park itself; this is the only tent camping in the area).

Cross 219 and continue on Champoeg Rd, then take the first left onto Riverside Dr NE. After about three miles, turn left onto Mission Rd NE and come to the village of St. Paul. The pioneer cemetery there features the final resting place of William Cannon, the only authenticated Revolutionary War veteran buried in Oregon. A wall of remembrance for local tribespeople is in the cemetery as well.

Turn around and go North on 219 towards Newberg. Cross the river and at the light, after about six miles, make a right onto right onto S Springbrook Rd, then an immediate right for NE Wilsonville Rd. This is a terrific road - almost 20 miles of terrific winding pavement in great condition.

Once you come into Wilsonville, go under I 5 and through downtown. Watch your speed! You will pass a couple of schools, and then at a four-way stop, make a right onto SW Advance Rd/Boeckman Rd. Check out the Canby Ferry sign - this is where you will find out if the ferry is closed because of high water (or any other reasons). This road is straight, but you are in for an amazing dip in the road.

At the end of SW Advance Rd/Boeckman Rd, turn right onto SW Mountain Rd, which will take you to the Canby ferry (it's not free). The road down to the ferry is very windy and steep - great if there are no cars in front of you, but a pain if there is a long line (rare on weekends). Beware of ice in the roadway if it's been the slightest bit cold.

After the cross, you can take a bathroom break at Molalla River State Park - there's really nothing to see there, but it's a nice place for a rest, if you need one.

You want an aluminum top box, but the huge alu boxes of most sellers for one or even two helmets are too big for you, and too expensive?

My husband has designed an aluminium topcase just for you! (and for us, because it's what we wanted on our own bikes)

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

20 liter (5.3 gallon)

400 x 250 x 200 mm
(15 34" x 9 34" x 7 34")

1.6 mm (116") thick aluminium

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

Motorrad Aluminium Topcase

  • completely welded, not only glued or riveted
  • lid with four loops to fasten additional luggage
  • lid completely removable, which makes loading and unloading much easier
  • two tie down hooks, which can be locked with a small padlock each
  • gasket in the lid makes the aluminum box completely waterproof
  • all attachment parts (loops, tie down hooks, and screws) are made of stainless steel
  • all corners and bends are rounded
  • light weight, only 2.3 kg (5 pounds)
  • spare parts available
Also available in custom sizes.

And, yes, those side panniers are also available to order.

Your next stop is up to you - you can go to downtown Canby for food or coffee or whatever, or head back to I5 (right on 99E, then right at Barlow and follow the signs - stop at Fir Point Farms if it's open for sandwiches or treats) or head to I205 (left on 99E through Oregon City). Aurora is also a terrific place to stop for a little exploring (great antique stores) or food - just make a right on 99E in Canby.

The only tent camping in the area is Champoeg State Park.

See Trip Advisor for places to eat in Canby, Aurora or Oregon City.

More Oregon and Washington suggested short motorcycle routes.

Any activity incurs risk. The author assumes no responsibility for the use of information contained within this document.

Also see:

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