5 Fun Outdoor Activities You’ll Only Find in Eugene

Did you know that the average person spends 55 hours each week sitting? Spending hours on end sitting in a chair isn’t just bad for your waistline. A number of recent studies have shown that long periods of sitting can increase risk for serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It’s pretty clear we need all need to move more, but that doesn’t necessarily mean hours in the gym.

Just incorporating more activity into your daily life can help. And with sunny days at a maximum, July and August are the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy some healthy exercise with the whole family. Need some ideas for fun things to do? Try putting one of these 5 uniquely “Eugene” activities on your summer calendar:

#1: Climb a giant tree.

Do you dream of soaring over the forest floor like an eagle? Now you can, thanks to the Pacific Tree Climbing Institute. Explore the magnificent trees and ascend to the top of the Pacific Northwest’s legendary old growth forests with Certified Arborists as your guides. In addition to gaining an up-close view of the internationally renowned forests, keep an eye out for spotted owls, golden eagles and osprey. Choose from a day climb or an overnight expedition that includes spending an evening aloft in a 250 foot tall Douglas fir. Equipment is provided, so just show up in comfortable clothing (long pants are recommended for your comfort).

#2: Score a hole in one.

From July 20 to July 27, join the mini-golf tournament at Camp Putt Adventure Golf Park. Attend on any day that’s convenient for you to play. If you score a hole in one, enter your scorecard for a chance to win free gold and other daily prizes. There are divisions for ages 11 & under or 12 and up, making this a great option for the whole family. Overall prizes will be awarded on July 27, and you can keep an eye on the leaderboard throughout the week on their website.

#3: Run with the roller derby bulls.

Can’t make it to Pamplona for Spain’s famous “Running of the Bulls” this year? You can still participate in Pink Buffalo Racing’s Running of the Bulls coming up Saturday, July 19 at Alton Baker Park. Runners get a head start on the course, only to be “chased” by Eugene’s Emerald City Roller Girls. It’s truly one of Eugene’s most unique outdoor activities. Even if you don’t want to run, consider going as a spectator to cheer on the runners … or the roller derby “bulls.”

#4: Run the runway.

Being chased by a roller derby team not your thing? Perhaps the 3rd Annual 5K on the Runway will pique your interest. The entire course of this pancake flat 5K is held in a place you’ll never get to run at any other day of the year—the Eugene Airport runway. This year’s race takes place on Saturday, August 2 at 9:30 AM, and it’s just one part of the Air Fair, a family-friendly event featuring live entertainment, delicious local food and beverages, aircraft displays, and more. Best of all, your entry supports the Eugene chapter of the Active 20-30 Club, a service club devoted to helping children’s charities raise the funds they need to succeed.

#5: Visit the McKenzie River Chainsaw Art Festival.

For the ultimate in Oregon outdoor activities, don’t miss the classic McKenzie River Chainsaw Art Festival August 14-17 in Blue River, just 40 miles east of Eugene. Sure, you may not be racing down a runway or climbing a tree, but there’s still plenty of great outdoor fun that will keep you and the kids off the couch. Visit with master carvers, check out the classic car show, sample delicious local food, and enjoy family friendly entertainment. Admission is just $3 (free for children under 12) and includes a raffle ticket. While you’re there, don’t miss the McKenzie River’s scenic byways, waterfalls, big trees and covered bridges.

Whether you’re tired of hearing “I’m bored” from the kids or you’re looking for a way to feel like a kid again yourself, you’ll be doing your mind, body and spirit an uplifting favor. Just remember to wear sunscreen!

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