Lonely Planet review
A hike up wooded Skinner Butte, directly north of downtown, provides a good orientation and a little exercise (drive up if you're feeling lazy). Eugene Skinner established the city's first business on the narrow strip of land along the Willamette River below, which is now Skinner Butte Park ; there's a great playground for kids. If you're a rock climber, don't miss the columnar basalt formations along the butte's lower western side.
Follow the path around the north side of Skinner Butte to the Owens Memorial Rose Garden , a lovely park with picnic benches and rose bushes (best June to August), along with the country's oldest black tartarian cherry tree, planted around 1847.