The Over the River and Through the Woods Scenic Byway starts about 25-30 minutes north of Eugene, Oregon. Take I-5 up and then get yourself onto Highway 228 and just drive east.
The byway takes you through farmlands, over rivers and through woods – imagine that! Our trip on this byway happened to be on an overcast and rainy day, which surprisingly didn’t ruin anything.
Once you get to the end of 228, you can turn north onto the West Cascades Scenic Byway. You can also go south onto that byway, or continue straight to get onto the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway.
We went south, and then took Highway 126 all the way back to I-5, making for a nice little round trip.
Our favorite stop was Koosah Falls in Willamette National Forest. There’s a fairly large parking lot and a 30 second walk takes you right in front of the falls. If we had prepared with ponchos, we probably would have taken the trail a lot farther because it was beautiful, but we were getting wet and cold, so we opted for the safety of the car.
We would highly recommend this drive. It takes about 2 hours to go one way, and then if you want, you can connect to the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway or the West Cascades Scenic Byway
Also, be sure to pick up Oregon’s Scenic Byways booklet (we found one at the Portland airport). You can download pages from the scenic byway booklet as PDFs from here.