Willamette Street Walk

Eugene, Oregon is known as track town USA and the hippy capitol of the world. It also offers many charming walks and sights for the interested traveler. One of these is the walk along Willamette street to Skinner’s Butte.

Willamette Street Walk

  1. Park at the Eugene Public Library and walk past the transit center. Willamette Street is on the opposite side of the transit station from the library.
  2. Turning left, walk along Willamette Street. In a block you will come to Kesey Square named for Ken Kesey the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Kesey grew up in the neighboring city of Springfield and lived in Eugene while attending the University of Oregon
    • Food: Kesey Square is the location of a Voodoo Donut’s branch.
  3. Continue down Willamette Street. A variety of cafes and shops fills the shopping district. The local farmer’s market also occurs a block over from this location on Saturdays.
  4. Between 7th and 6th Aves Willamette Street becomes a pedestrian path between the Hult Center for the Performing Arts and the Hilton.
    • History: On sixth avenue a garden dedicated to the Japanese Internment during World War 2 offers a beautiful space to rest in.
  5. Crossing over 6th avenue, continue along Willamette Street.
    • Landmark: On the right side of the block is the Smith Family Bookstore. This Eugene land mark offers a wide selection of new and used books.
    • Landmark: The Eugene post office across from Smith Family Books is a fine example of Art Deco architecture.
  6. You will come to the end of Willamette Street at the Eugene train station.
    • Food: Some local spots next to the train station include the Jackalope Lounge and Morning Glory Care.
  7. Returning to 5th Ave, turn left and walk along 5th avenue for three blocks
  8. Turn right at Lincoln Street and proceeding along the street for 3 blocks
    • Landmark: At the end of three blocks you will come to The Columns. This former basalt quarry dug into the side of Skimmer Butte now serves as a rock climbing wall.
  9.  From The Columns, you can either take the trail from the parking lot or proceed up the Skinner Butte Loop.
  10. After a half mile you will come to the top of Skinner Butte.
    • Viewpoint: The butte provides a perfect view down Willamette Street to Skinner Butte’s big brother, Spencer Butte. The butte also provides stunning views down the length of the Willamette Valley and the Willamette river.
  11. You can proceed back along the Skinner Butte Loop or take the trail leading down from the lookout point.
  12. At the T-intersection take the road that dead ends in the Skinner Butte Loop until it exits the park and meets 3rd avenue.
  13. Turn right onto 3rd avenue and proceed to Pearl Street.
  14. At Pearl turn right and walk for two blocks until you reach 5th Ave.
    • Food: The intersection of 5th and Pearl features several prominent local restaurants and the 5th Street Public Market.
  15. Turn right on to 5th Ave and walk for two blocks until you return to Willamette Street.
  16. Retrace your steps back to the Eugene Public Library.

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