The Willamette National Forest is laden with mountaintop vistas, lakes, waterfalls, rocky bluffs and alpine meadows. It is an outdoorsman's dream with opportunities to view wildlife and plant life throughout the forest. The northern spotted owl, the northern bald eagle, and the wolverine are all types of wildlife that can be viewed at Willamette. The glaciated landscape includes mountain peaks and volcanoes, rock pinnacles, lava fields, craters and cinder cones. Activities found within the forest boundaries include hiking – with over 1,400 miles of trails that wind through the McKenzie River, gorges, creeks, forests and rock formations. Skiing, biking, fishing, paddling, scenic driving and viewing wildlife are other popular activities accommodated by the facility.
The Hendricks Park Rhododendron Garden is located within Hendricks Park, which is Eugene's oldest city park. The park has over 70 acres of land consisting of a mature forest, the rhododendron garden and a native plant garden. The park is endowed with a trail system that accommodates hikers and bird watchers who enjoy the tranquility of nature. The Rhododendron Garden is situated under the canopy of Oregon white oaks and invites visitors to travel along its meandering walkways and sit among the splendor of the many benches in the garden. The garden was founded in 1951 and spans over 12 acres with over 6,000 rhododendrons and other ornamental plants.
The annual Oregon Bach Festival is held in Eugene during the months of June and July. The festival celebrates music and provides a wonderful atmosphere for family and community fun. Helmuth Rilling, the artistic director and conductor, leads two weeks of choral and orchestral concerts centered on the music and widespread influence of Johann Sebastian Bach. This festival finds itself amid the thriving forests and scenic rivers of Eugene and the Willamette Valley. Other events encompassed in this annual festival include chamber music, family and educational programs in "a musical enterprise virtually without equal in America" (Los Angeles Times).
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