Skip to main content

Oregon Family Magazine

Get Out There!

03/01/2020 06:56PM ● By Josh Cox, Oregon Medical Group
By the calendar, we’re not far from Spring. But those of us living in the Willamette Valley know there’s still some time before the skies brighten and the temperatures warm. No official study can proclaim that families are getting agitated by all the indoor time, but each of us has a story of cranky kids and bored teens. Knowing how important movement, fresh air and family time are to long-term health and happiness, the team at Oregon Medical Group offers this quick run-down of local adventures to get the wiggles out – and the fun in!

West Eugene Wetlands

751 S. Danebo, Eugene

We love this spot for its diversity. Little ones can handle the half-mile wander through the wetlands on Tsanchilfin Walk. Use this as a jump-off spot to bike along the Fern Ridge bike path to Meadowlark Prairie Overlook. This time of year is a wonderful time to spot wildlife, and interpretive signs help you find it. From frogs, blue herons and more birds than we can name, you’ll be refreshed to find so much natural activity right in town.

Delta Ponds Ducklings

640 Goodpasture Island Road, Eugene

Don’t let the nearby freeway trick you: the Delta Ponds Trail offers quick immersion into nature. It offers 1.8 miles of easy, flat and well maintained trail that leads to ponds. Side trails allow for some extra exploration. Look for nutria, herons, turtles, geese and ducks. Check out the City of Eugene’s detailed page about this park to find a full listing of birds.

Mt. Pisgah Swing Trail

Buford Park, Springfield

There’s something for everyone at Mt. Pisgah and Buford Park. An ever-growing network of trails offers wanders in the bottomlands, steep climbs to the top, and loops to ponds with turtles and other wildlife. Kids 8 and up will love the adventure of Swing Hill. Turn left after the bridge and start at the designated trail head (which includes a map). About a mile up, kids are rewarded for their scramble with a swing. offers great maps.

Thurston Hills Natural Area

Past 75th and south of Main Street in Springfield

This new addition to the adventure line-up offers hiking and mountain biking trails. True to its name, this is a hilly area and best for kids who want to take on some hills and distance. Beginning mountain bikers will enjoy the “Acer Spades” trail. Be sure to check trail profiles and maps on the kiosk at the parking lot; it’s better for kids to finish an adventure with a yearning for more rather than to burn out from too steps.

For the best time outside, we recommend sturdy shoes, a raincoat and snacks. You’ll be amazed how much longer the littles can last when they stay dry and fueled. Don’t forget the adults – you’ll have to outlast the kids and that’s hard with soggy feet and a chilly core.

This reminder of community fun was provided by Oregon Medical Group. OMG has been caring for Lane County families for 30 years and is now accepting new pediatric patients.