August is the perfect time to check out the parks and bike trails of Salem, Oregon. Spruced-up Riverfront Park is a lovely place for a family to spend an afternoon. Ride from Wallace Marine Park on the west side of the Willamette, across the former railroad-, now a pedestrian- and bike-bridge,
and you will land close to the Gilbert House Children’s Museum. Riverfront Park has wide open spaces to run, a carousel, and playground including a unique water play area popular on hot days.
New to the Riverfront Park is the bridge linking Minto-Brown Island Park, which itself holds well over twenty miles of bike trails, nice picnic spots, and acres of wild berry bushes––that’s why it is good to go in late July or August.
On the island:
Not too far away and (I think) worth a visit are Bush’s Pasture Park and Oregon State Capitol building. If you can’t visit in person, see this.
As many times as we have visited my sister and her family in Salem, we’ve never taken the time to see either of those places––it’s my goal for the next time we ride bikes there.
Slightly farther away from Riverfront Park but still close to downtown Salem is the Oregon State Hospital, famous as the filming location for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The hospital houses an interesting Mental Health Museum. We’ve been there and the museum is well worth a visit.
Portland gets more attention, but Salem is a worthwhile destination. Go if you can. Especially in blackberry season.