FATMAP difficulty grade
The Bear Creek Greenway runs for 20 miles one-way from north of Central Point, all the way through Medford, Phoenix, and Talent to the outskirts of Ashland.
This is an incredible amenity for local cyclists, walkers, and runners, providing a great way to exercise and experience the local area without dealing with dangerous car traffic.
Unfortunately, the greenway isn't all that scenic, and has only gotten less scenic in recent years.
To begin, the greenway will give you a front row seat to Medford's homeless community.
Along with this traffic and habitation comes a significant amount of trash on the Medford section of the greenway. In 2020, several fires burned through the greenway, destroying large swaths of the towns of Phoenix and Talent.
The greenway was actually the corridor that allowed the fire to travel through these towns, and now vast sections of buildings and trees have been burned to the ground, or charred to crisp where they stand.
In a separate incident, a fire near Central Point also burned a section of the greenway in the same summer. Consequently, this ride hasn't been awarded FATMAP Select status.
But if you're a local, or are visiting and are looking for a traffic-free ride, the greenway is still quite an attractive option.
A few beautiful places remain, especially in some of the parks in Medford itself.
The greenway running through downtown and below portions of the interstate provides an interesting way to view this urban area, and you may be surprised by how quickly you leave the urban zone behind in exchange for beautiful countryside. Eventually the trees and undergrowth will return, and Bear Creek will be restored to some of its former beauty.