Home to Oregon State University, Corvallis is in many ways an archetypal college town, boasting abundant coffeehouses, pizza places and bookstores around the green, ivy-bedecked campus at its heart. But the city is just as green and vibrant outside the vicinity of the 500-acre campus, where the area retains a small farm-town feel.
Located in the heart of Oregon's rich, fertile Willamette Valley (its name is derived from Latin to mean "heart of the valley"), Corvallis is still home to trees dating back to when its first settlers arrived in 1847. The emphasis on nature has led Corvallis to be named one of the top places in the country to live. But the city has received particular recognition as a biking mecca: Named ninth in the nation as a Car-free City by Bike to Work and ninth most Bicycle Friendly City in the nation by Bike USA, the Corvallis area has more than 60 miles of bicycle trails, including scenic routes along the Mary's and Willamette rivers as well as numerous wide, well-maintained bike lanes in town.
Corvallis and the surrounding area are also home to more than 50 parks, including Cascadia State Park (host to attractions such as a petroglyph-filled cave), and is near scenic sites such as Mary's Peak -- at 4,097 feet, the Coast Range's highest summit. It is also a good base from which to go bird-watching: The Jackson-Frazier Wetlands Preserve is within city limits, and within a 30-mile radius of the city are several national wildlife refuges.
Corvallis is located about 10 miles west of I-5, about an hour south of Portland and a half-hour north of Eugene. To learn more about Corvallis, select a topic of interest from the left-hand column.