McMinnville Wine Loop
If you’re looking for a ride that balances effort with reward, this may be the route for you. You can find a balance in climbing a few moderate hills to enjoy sweeping wine country views, or in burning enough calories to offset a little wine tasting or a big meal afterward. Either way you look at it, this is an enjoyable, moderate ride through the McMinnville countryside.
Over just a few hours (well, depends on how often you stop, for how long), you’ll roll past vineyards, cross creeks, and relax into pastoral farmland views. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to stop, as you’ll be passing by multiple wineries as well as the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.
Start your ride in McMinnville’s Granary District, where Grain Station Brew Works can make sure you’re refreshed before or after your ride. If you have any gear or repair needs, or just love the atmosphere of great bike shops, first stop by Tommy’s, just a few blocks away on 3rd Street in downtown.
You’ll begin with a counter-clockwise circumnavigation of McMinnville proper; in the first three miles you’ll pass by Wortman Park, Michelbrook Country Club and Discovery Meadows Community Park.
Then it’s out of town. After a short, straight shot south, low-traffic back roads will lead you on a meandering journey to the crossroads “town” of Bellevue, with its eclectically stocked Country Store. This stretch is where you’ll encounter the majority of the climbing; an initial 100-foot ascent is followed by a series of up-and-down rollers over the next 10 miles. Any pain this might cause will be tempered by the views of fertile, rolling land – tune into which crop and flower scents are riding the air currents, and gain a full realization of why this part of Oregon provides an agricultural bounty that goes far beyond just wine grapes.
Along the way, consider a brief side trip down McCabe Chapel Way (on the left just before mile 9) to see this historic building that’s been an active church since 1886. You’ll also go by the entrance to Maysary Winery, one of Oregon’s many fine pinot noir wineries.
When you cross Highway 18 at Bellevue, you can try another short adventure jaunt by turning right onto the highway and going roughly a quarter-mile to the Mason Rivera Sculpture Garden and Art Gallery, where you can stroll through the sculptures of metal and carved concrete.
Back on the route, more meandering will zig-zag you across a series of back roads and through the tiny communities of Briedwell and Whiteson. After you pass the McMinnville Airport around mile 32, you’ll enjoy a final diversion off the main road, as well as the chance to stop by the Evergreen Museum, home of the fabled “Spruce Goose.”
When you finish up a few miles later, you’ll also have easy access to the bustling downtown district. By now you should have worked up a good appetite and/or thirst – and McMinnville has a bevy of options for you.