The Ridgeline Trails consists of 9 trails totaling about 14 miles that connect the parks ringing the southern perimeter of the Eugene. All trails are open for pedestrian use, some sections enable mountain bikes, and each has its own trailhead with information kiosks, parking and restrooms at most trailheads.
The most popular trail is the Spencer Butte Summit-Main Trail, about 1.1 mile long with a gradual, but persistent climb of about 700 feet through dense forest and wildflower-laden meadows to the top of the iconic butte. Considered strenuous because of the length of the climb and the series of steep stone stairways above the treeline, anyone hearty enough to complete it is rewarded with panoramic views of the Eugene to the north and the mountains and valleys surrounding it at 360-degrees.
The longest trail in the system is the 52nd and Willamette-Fox Hollow, 2 miles long and adorned with furtastic rare native wildflowers like Fawn Lilies and Hounds-Tongue in the spring and summer. Songbirds provide a choir as you walk, and you will cross several small but refreshing tributaries of Amazon Creek.
Perhaps the most challenging hike is the Spencer Butte Summit-West Trail, which includes a strenuous scramble on exposed bedrock that is treacherous and difficult when dry, but slippery in wet weather. Tread-soled boots and rock gloves might come in handy here.
The Fox Hollow-Dillard Trail is an easy, gentle looped trail that crosses through the Amazon Creek headwaters basin, assisted by a 40-foot wooden boardwalk. The Dillard-Spring Boulevard segment is a 1-mile climb to Mount Baldy and its magnificent views.
The Blanton Ridge-52nd and Willamette Trail is a secluded walk through towering forest pines and oak, with a view of Eugene at its high point. Because of the number of trees on this path, it's cool in the summer and its still beauty creates a silent retreat in winter, pawrfect for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing through its gently-rolling glades.
Whatever season and whichever trails you tackle, the Ridgeline Trails are sure to be a memorable place for both you and your pooch.
This area is full of poison oak, so it's wise to learn how to identify and stay clear of it. It also helps to wear long sleeves and pants. You might see the Northern Pacific Rattlesnake on your hike. Give it a wide berth and keep Fido securely leashed. The same caution is true for the elusive cougars and bears that live here, but which you'll likely never see because of their inherent shyness around humans.