Monmouth--and not a freerider. Where to ride.
Hey all. I am going to be spending a week in Monmouth working. Will have time for some shortish rides. Looks like Black Rock and Burma Peak are the closest trails by car. Maybe 1/2 hour? Is that right?
Well, I'm old, ride rigid, 1x10, and my wheels rarely leave the ground. Certainly no hucking. So where am I going to ride if I bring my bike?
-I'd like for the drive to be 45 min. from Monmouth tops. 30 minutes or less even better.
-I prefer to ride singletrack up and down. Not a big fan of 5 mile road grinders and then all downhill.
-Intermediate rider who keeps wheels on the ground.
-Ride time 2 hours max.
If Black Rock is too much, try just outside of Corvallis in the McDonald-Dunn Forest, or even Mary's Peak. Mary's Peak is a bit farther, but a very worthy trail in my opinion. The Mac (McDonald Forest) offers something for just about everyone, from XC to more of an (I know, this a bike marketing term not a trail type) all-mountain feel.....for lack of a better term. But I would also suggest giving Black Rock a shot. It really has something to offer many people as well, and you will see everyone from the young guys in all their armor and DH bikes to old dudes on 10 year old XC bikes. I can say "old dude" because I am almost 40 and am beginning to feel like one of them myself. But really, Bonzai Downhill is a fun trail and worth riding, even based on the profile of yourself that you mentioned.
I'm sure others can chime in here too, but that should give you a start.
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Not sure you are going to be able to meet all of your criteria. Limiting it to 45 minutes from Monmouth means you will be riding in the coast range. The coast range has steep terrain and most of the accessible land is timber company land, National forest or state forest land, all of which tend to have networks of gravel roads geared towards getting timber down off the mountain.
Most of the riding involves gravel road climbs and singletrack descents. There are some trails that can be climbed, but most of the trails have sections where the grades top 20% with some much higher than that.
The Dallas/Burma peak trails are probably your closest bet. I haven't ridden there in years, but my recollection is that you will be climbing mostly roads, but some of the trails were OK to climb.
Mac-Dunn. Same deal. There are a couple trails that people climb regularly (Dan's Trail and Horse Trail) which are on the official map and could be located without guide, but, while singletrack, they are mostly surfaced with gravel. Not quite as bad as it sounds, but they are fairly wide singletrack and non-technical. If you are up for a casual ride through a nice forest, it's not a bad choice, but I wouldn't rave about it for the nature of the trail itself.
Most of the rest of the Mac-Dunn trail network is not on the official map and you're not likely to navigate it easily without a local guide, and even then, you'll be climbing the gravel roads to get to the trails.
Mary's Peak would fit all of your criteria but it's a 1 hr drive from Monmouth. Maybe a little less with light traffic. Best bet would be to park at the North Ridge trailhead at the end of Woods creek road, climb the gravel road past the gate over to Connor's Camp, then Climb East Ridge Trail. Longer option is to continue on East Ridge up to the upper parking lot. You can add the double track road climp up the meadow to the summit. Then descend down North Ridge Trail to your car.
Shorter option is to take the Tie-Trail from Eastridge over to North Ridge. This eliminates the upper part of east ridge and ties in to North Ridge 1 mile below the upper parking lot.
The trails on Mary's have some technical section (rocks, roots) built into the side of the hill. Nothing extreme mind you, but if you are riding by yourself you want to exercise a bit of caution so you don't end up off the trail and tumbling down the steep slope. Maybe it's just me, but I ride this trail a lot more cautiously when solo vs when I'm riding with friends.
Blackrock - 95% gravel road climbing as the trails are on-way downhill. All of the free-ride stunts have B-lines you can ride around, and everything on Bonzai downhill can be rolled over (tires never have to leave the ground). Still, there are lots of ramps and jumps available to hit, but I've seen plenty of people ride it without ever putting daylight under their tires. Might as well try it since it is close.
Thanks. Great advice here. So I think I'd like to hear more about Burma Peak. Most of the information I can find about the trails is dated. I also read that active logging can be a factor. Anyone ridden there recently. I have the drive time from Monmouth right at 30 min. Sound right? Also, I've read that the ride starts with a 5 mile gravel road climb. Does this mean the trails are too steep for out and backs on the single track?
I haven't ridden the Dallas trails (Burma Peak) in probably close to 10 years, so my hazy recollection and evolution of the trail system renders my input pretty much moot.
However, you may want to check out the Salem thread on this forum (Trails near Salem)
There is mention of the Dallas trails and possibilities for people to contact for more recent trail beta (SOMBA) and maybe even someone willing to show you around.
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