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  1. #1
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    O'Leary Mtn trail is clear and it rips!

    Get out and ride something new! Getting out and exploring new trails gives me the greatest stoke in mountain biking. I'm write-up of my recent in adventure in hopes to inspire you all to keep getting out there finding fresh experiences. This particular trail, the O'Leary Mtn Trail is a product of the CCC era back in the 1930's. The trail was in danger of being lost to lack of use, but thanks to MaxSteel and efforts of the DOD we're trying to keep this piece of our history open for our riding enjoyment.

    On Saturday, Seedy and I made the trek 2hrs west of Bend. As I said, MaxSteel and the DOD crew did a bunch of work last fall and this spring. We were "just" setting out to clear blowdown on a four mile section of the O'Leary trail. It proved to be a pretty tough mission given how remote and challenging the area is. That said we had a blast and can't wait to go back and ride it now that its completely clear!

    O'leary is really best when ridden in combo with Castle Rock and King Castle trails, which is what we did. This provides about 18 miles of absolutely *****in single track. For this mission we gladly accepted the assistance of a shuttle from Seth Graham to access the top of O'Leary. Last weekend, myself, 100# Fury and G-Dog rode the whole loop which gets pretty close to 30 miles given the pavement needed to link the ride. Either way is absolutely worth the trouble to see this gem.

    O'Leary is very primitive, with some areas that are getting pretty think with ferns. We never had any issues finding the trail and found the trail to be mostly ridable except for a few short steep pitches both up and down that needed short off the bike forays. O'Leary at just over 9 miles has everything, big views, awesome tech sections, ripping fast ridge riding and sketchy grimper steep sidehills complete with gnarly switchbacks. Once you reach the Castle Rock trail the difficulty backs down considerably and as most of you know once you're on King Castle is just icing on the cake.

    This is an area that actually NEEDS your tire treads. So where is this goodness? I don't do GPS, so you'll just have to use the map. Well here's the map.

    Does it get any easier? Here's the photos, we've cleared it, you've got the map, all you have to do is go ride it! Have fun, Seedy and I sure did.
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  2. #2
    Singletrack Addict
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    Nice work Crash! You guys did that commando style. Sh!t Howdy!
    Love that trail.

  3. #3
    drbarky
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    Nice work, great effort--looks beautiful!!

  4. #4
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    Great news!Outstanding effort!Smilin' up here...time to roll some tires on it.The picture of the "rock" section almost brought tears to my eyes.That trail has a "feel" to it.Thanks for the work.
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  5. #5
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    Hell Yeah!!

    Pictures just don't do it justice.True mountain biking. Honestly one of the best trail experiences I have had in a long time. Thanks to Max and DOD for not letting this one fade away and to Crash for letting me tag along . Can't wait to get back out there. CD

  6. #6
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    That is GREAT news!! Last October when we went out to start the clearing it seemed like a huge endeavor, but with a lot of hard work for a few folks, it is done!! Thanks for sharing a photo of the rock work section - it is amazing that the trail has lasted since the 30s and that there were people out there that long ago building trail.
    I posted this on Cog's facebook page, hope that will help spread the word to get others out there!
    Thanks again!!!
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  7. #7
    Making fat cool since '71
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    It's not "done" by any stretch...just clear. It still needed a couple hundred hours of work (benching/brushing) when we walked away after busting our butts on it this spring...it's awesome crash and crew cut the logs out on top. We'll keep at it. It's the best trail in that area to me. Combine it with King/Castle and it's one hell of a fun ride to Harbick's for chocolate milk and chicken on a stick.

    Max does deserve some kudos and a kick in the face for getting things organized and getting this trail into my and others' consciousness.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

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  8. #8
    Afric Pepperbird
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    Sounds great! Can anyone help out with a better map to the trailhead; recommended route, direction, etc.? Is there a loop option? I don't see King's Castle on that map.

    Thanks

  9. #9
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirt farmer
    Sounds great! Can anyone help out with a better map to the trailhead; recommended route, direction, etc.? Is there a loop option? I don't see King's Castle on that map.

    Thanks
    Any FS map.
    Clockwise. Basic only one route.
    Do not shuttle and it is a loop. You just ride a fair amount of pavement to start.
    Castle Rock = King Castle.
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  10. #10
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    The best way to do this loop is include Olallie as well and go up the backside through the Potholes area, then very little pavement but one of the hardest 50 mile rides you will ever do.

    Thanks for getting it cleared, hopefully people use it more. We cleared it for several years back in the late 90's and it was a great trail but after a few years of no use it tends to get consumed by the woods again.

    Also, some of the steepest switchbacks I have ever ridden, and seen people fall on, steeper then Bunchgrass if you have done that trail.
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  11. #11
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    Hate to burst your bubble, Skins, but the late 90s were more than several years ago, more like nearly a decade. : )

    Old guys rock!

  12. #12
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    Ran into BigFatEd at Pine Mtn Sports this afternoon and was reminded that some more explicit directions to find the goods would be helpful. Brock is right the trail is not done, the biggest issue I have found is that by looking at a map you'd think you would access O'leary by riding down from the upper trailhead on Olallie. You could do that, but its totally overgrown in several clearings that totally kill it for me, So here's what I did and it works awesome.

    So these are the directions for the loop option of riding: O'leary, Castle Rock and King Castle.

    From the bottom of rd1993 (intersection w/ rd 2638) is just over 8 miles to an unmarked gravel road on the right. You'll know its the road, its the only option anywhere close to that mileage. For your convenience someone has spray painted mileage onto the pavement so you can keep track on the way up. At this spur rd you'll climb over the gate shown in this photo. You'll climb, drag and ride up this gravel for only about a 1/4 mile until it levels out. At that point look for the bright pink flagging on the left hand side of the gravel road marking "Crash's Cut-in" to O'Leary. The trail is about 25 yds in the forest from the spur rd to the marked intersection of the O'Leary/Olallie trails. From here you're on O'leary and route finding was no longer an issue for me on either of my rides on O'Leary.

    If you don't find my pink flagging, continue on the spur rd for another 1/4 mile take the left fork and this will take you downhill. Keep a close lookout for the Olallie trail which will crosses this spur quickly. Turn uphill to get to O'leary, turn right and you're going downhill on Olallie.

    As suggested by others Ollalie trail is right there, and could (should) be included in this loop, but I left it out to make for the easiest way to ride this loop.

    This route is for the adventurous. The trail is rugged and the lower reaches of O'Leary has some of the steepest sections of fall line trail I've seen including those old trails in Corvallis and Heckletooth in Oakridge.

    Have fun and report back here upon your return.

  13. #13
    Making fat cool since '71
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    We'll be up there Sunday.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeenYour Crash
    Ran into BigFatEd at Pine Mtn Sports this afternoon and was reminded that some more explicit directions to find the goods would be helpful. Brock is right the trail is not done, the biggest issue I have found is that by looking at a map you'd think you would access O'leary by riding down from the upper trailhead on Olallie. You could do that, but its totally overgrown in several clearings that totally kill it for me, So here's what I did and it works awesome.

    So these are the directions for the loop option of riding: O'leary, Castle Rock and King Castle.

    From the bottom of rd1993 (intersection w/ rd 2638) is just over 8 miles to an unmarked gravel road on the right. You'll know its the road, its the only option anywhere close to that mileage. For your convenience someone has spray painted mileage onto the pavement so you can keep track on the way up. At this spur rd you'll climb over the gate shown in this photo. You'll climb, drag and ride up this gravel for only about a 1/4 mile until it levels out. At that point look for the bright pink flagging on the left hand side of the gravel road marking "Crash's Cut-in" to O'Leary. The trail is about 25 yds in the forest from the spur rd to the marked intersection of the O'Leary/Olallie trails. From here you're on O'leary and route finding was no longer an issue for me on either of my rides on O'Leary.

    If you don't find my pink flagging, continue on the spur rd for another 1/4 mile take the left fork and this will take you downhill. Keep a close lookout for the Olallie trail which will crosses this spur quickly. Turn uphill to get to O'leary, turn right and you're going downhill on Olallie.

    As suggested by others Ollalie trail is right there, and could (should) be included in this loop, but I left it out to make for the easiest way to ride this loop.

    This route is for the adventurous. The trail is rugged and the lower reaches of O'Leary has some of the steepest sections of fall line trail I've seen including those old trails in Corvallis and Heckletooth in Oakridge.

    Have fun and report back here upon your return.
    Thanks for the added information Crash. Nice to see you in town, and hope to get out on the trail with you soon.

    P.S. I love the last line in your post.......Report back.....so we can make sure you survived, is more like it. If the climbs don't kill you, well, then you have to deal with the 45% grade on the decent. It seems we have plenty of technical trail in Oregon. One just needs to know where to look. Cheers!

  15. #15
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    Yo crash! I was up there on Sunday doing a couple shuttle runs on Castle Rock. My friend and I always stop at the intersection of castle rock and o'leary; wondering where it goes. Thanks for the info. Is o'leary good in both directions?
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  16. #16
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by NastyNick
    Yo crash! I was up there on Sunday doing a couple shuttle runs on Castle Rock. My friend and I always stop at the intersection of castle rock and o'leary; wondering where it goes. Thanks for the info. Is o'leary good in both directions?
    No, not really. The King Castle side of O'Leary has an average grade of ~12% with the bottom mile @ 21% average, 45% max (not 45 degrees) and much of it over 30%. Very steep and narrow but not really technical.
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  17. #17
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    Nick, technically you're shuttling King Castle. Castle Rock is the trail intersection you've been looking at. The King Castle trail actually stops at that intersection and you can choose to continue up to the peak on Castle Rock trail or mostly descend on Castle Rock toward O'Leary. Its mostly down in a gully, so not a lot for views, but pretty fun none the less. You would end up out at the bottom of O'Leary and I would strongly suggest only to my worst nemesis to ride up O'Leary. That would be the hike-a-bike from hell.

    Seriously man. Get your shuttle wagon up the road to O'Leary. It will peel your eyes wide open. There's still lots of climbing to do on O'Leary though, by no means all downhill, but you'll be impressed. I promise you. You're rotors will hate you, and I think we can agree that's a good thing.

    To answer your question: O'Leary is effectively one way, going up it would be beyond ridiculous.

  18. #18
    Stroke my hair vest
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    Took on the challenge

    What a ride! O'leary is certainly the most primitive trail I've ever ridden- bush whacking is an understatement! Grannie gear pretty much all the way up Ollalie. Major exposure in either direction (you are pretty much riding on the ridge the entire way, afterall). And the descent to the O'Leary trailhead is like riding down a wall- behind the saddle, controlled skid the entire way. 6.5 hours for 30 miles WTF!

    Thanks for clearing this pristine piece of trail, fellas! More tire tread is needed.

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  19. #19
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    12 of us made the journey today. Shuttled Olallie, then 4 rode up to O'Leary, the rest of us pansies shuttled back up. Great day. I managed to fall off the trail where the rock wall is tallest. My bike thankfully hit a tree 20' down the slope. It was tough getting it back up to the tread again. Great trail, great group. We spent some time on the very top of McDuff next to the plaque where we had lunch. We could see snow capped peaks on all sides of us. Spectacular. Oh, bRock broke another helmet.
    MaxSteel

  20. #20
    Making fat cool since '71
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaxSteel
    Oh, bRock broke another helmet.
    It fits my head better now.

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

    Disciples Of Dirt, come ride with us.

  21. #21
    meatier showers
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    And? AND?

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxSteel
    ... I managed to fall off the trail where the rock wall is tallest. My bike thankfully hit a tree 20' down the slope. It was tough getting it back up to the tread again. ...
    Okay, so Brock broke another helmet... what's new. What about you?

    --sParty
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    We get old because we quit riding.

  22. #22
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    7k of elevation gain/loss in 30 miles. Now that's a mtn bike ride!

  23. #23
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    McKenzie River Mountain Resort offers daily shuttles during the season for the O'Leary trail by appointment - 541-822-6272, they also do daily shuttles for the well known McKenzie River Trail. Discounts are offered for shuttling both trails.

    There are 2 access points for this trail - the lower Olallie Trail accessible on road 1993 or the upper access at the Horsepasture Mountain Trail #4347 which takes longer to drive but cuts down on a lot of the climbing.

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