There is a butte just east of Spencer's along the Ridgeline Trail system called Mount Baldy. It is no mountain and it is only partially balding; nevertheless, it is well worth exploring.
Today, I was biking back to my house thinking of what I could do with my day, when I suddenly turned my bike around and decided to head south to Mount Baldy. It was a perfect spring day in late winter. One of those lucky few we get here in Eugene. It was the kind of day you just want to bike and hike around soaking up as much D as you can.
I have been to Mount Baldy many times, but never by bike. I had never biked up Dillard Road before, but I had biked down Dillard Road from the bike side and new the kind of hill I was getting myself into. Dillard Road shoots off east from East Amazon Road in south Eugene. It is narrow, windy, shoulderless, potholed, and steep. Basically perfect for a spontaneous, solo ride when your wearing street clothes, your tires aren't properly inflated, and you have no equipment necessary for any type of flat or repair. Well, let's just say I knew the risks of the ride and I chose to do it anyway. That's how inspired I was to get out to that sunny, quiet, not-quite-a-mountain, not-quite-bald, Mount Baldy.
I had a great ride on my little Specialized road bike, despite the imperfections of the road. There were very few cars out on Dillard Road as there is very little out that way, only a hand full of houses and a couple of sweet trailheads. I made it up to the trailhead. You'll see it on the left with a large Ridgeline Dillard Trailhead East sign. There is no formal bike parking here, but I locked up to the stop sign. There is a small parking lot here if you are traveling by car.
From here, you will find a trail map of the Ridgeline Trail system. There is a new connector trail across the street that heads west toward Fox Hollow and Spencer's Butte. No need to hike along the road here like we used to to continue west along the trail. But if you are going up Mount Baldy you will see the trail from the parking area here. It is a 1.3 mile loop so at the Y you can go left or right and loop around either way. If you are on a mountain bike you can ride right up the trail. I locked the road bike up and proceed by foot. If you're looking for a longer hike or trail run from here you can check out the connector across the road that heads west along the Ridgeline or there is also a trail that spurs off from the far end of the Mound Baldy loop that heads toward Spring Blvd.
The 1.3 mile loop around Mount Baldy will afford you many great opportunities for checking out the views of the Cascades to the East and Spencer's Butte to the West.
There is a log-hewn bench at the top of Mount Baldy that is a perfect spot for quiet reflection. You will usually find it empty. I recommend taking a seat and taking it all in for a moment.
From here, you can ride back down Dillard, carefully avoiding the potholes, and pop into Hideaway Bakery for a treat. Or you can continue along Dillard to catch more scenic hills and farm views and connect to Franklin Blvd. near Mount Pisgah, heading back in towards Springfield.