Sailing Fern Ridge Reservoir near Veneta Oregon

Fern Ridge Reservoir

Our reservoir has many features which include: camping, swimming, water-skiing, world class sailing, and an abundance of wildlife to observe. In addition, fishing for crappie, cutthroat trout, largemouth black bass, and catfish is excellent in early spring. This lake was formed when the Long Tom River was dammed in 1941. Its southeast shore was designated a wildlife refuge in 1979. The reservoir is located 10 miles west of Eugene on W. 11th Ave. (Hwy 126) or north of Eugene on Hwy 99W to Clear Lake Road. Marinas on the south or north shores are especially coveted by those who sail and windsurf.

The lake is drained in winter to allow for flood control, but the resulting marsh (and wildlife refuge) hosts tree frogs, newts, ospreys, rare purple martins (in spring), black-tailed deer, red foxes, beavers, muskrats, minks, pond turtles, and great blue herons. There are 250 bird species to be observed including tundra swans, northern harriers, Canadian geese, mergansers, and peregrine falcons. Perhaps the most eye-catching are the egrets because of their white plumage and large size.

The wildlife area is closed to the public Jan. 1-March 15 for the protection of wintering birds.

Willamette Valley Wineries

Just a short drive to the west, north or south brings you to some of Lane County’s better known wineries including LaVelle Vineyards, Hinman Vineyards/Silvan Ridge, Valhalla, Sweet Cheeks, and Sarver, just to name a few. Check out the Wineries of Lane County website for more information.

Pioneer Museum

7th & Broadway
Veneta, Oregon 97487

Applegate Trail – Mile post 50

1996 marked the 150th anniversary (trail blazed in 1846) of the Applegate Trail. Known as the southern route of the Oregon Trail, the Applegate Trail provided an alternative for settlers who wanted to avoid the perils of the Columbia River. Today, Interstate 5 and Highway 99 travel the same route. The Applegate was designated a National Historic Trail by the US Congress on August 3, 1992.

Oregon Country Fair

Each July, the eclectic Oregon Country Fair, a genuine original celebration of the music, crafts, and atmosphere of the counter-culture is held here. Visit the Oregon Country Fair website for more information.