Mike and I took our friend Ted and his 7 year-old son Anders on their first bicycle camping trip. I had hummed and haa’d for a long time as to where to take bicycle camping newbies from Corvallis as most destinations are too hard core (eg. Alsea falls) or far away (eg. Lyons).
I happened upon Brownsville, OR as a destination. It’s not your idyllic, remote, treed wonder (like Alsea falls), but the bike ride was safe (probably the safest I have ridden, and that is saying a lot) and flat (‘hills’ are bridges into Corvallis and over I-95) and short (25 miles) and at the end there is a town with food and camping along the Calapooia. The campground was unfortunately inundated with many campers for a religious event, but we found a private corner near the river and even managed a campfire alongside the river. It is a destination I would recommend if you are new to bicycle camping. I recommend breakfast at the Brownsville Saloon.
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