For a challenging yet immensely rewarding biking experience, look no further than the Lewis River Trail near Cougar, Washington. This 14-mile out-and-back trail offers cyclists an intoxicating mix of natural beauty, challenging terrain, and secluded riding conditions.
To access the lower trailhead, travel east on SR-503 from I-5 at Woodland, Washington. Continue through Cougar, and stay on FR #90. Roughly 25 miles from Cougar, turn left onto FR #9039. After crossing the Lewis River, the trailhead awaits on the right just past the bridge. For a more in-depth route description, refer to ebiketrails.com.
The initial miles along the river offer a smooth and gentle roller-coaster experience. Cyclists can anticipate climbs and descents that are manageable but keep you on your toes. As you delve deeper, prepare for technical challenges that involve steeper ascents and narrow, cliffside paths. Additionally, landslides have caused some tricky spots, though experienced riders claim these are negotiable with a hike-a-bike approach.
Several riders recommend this trail for its seclusion and fantastic scenery all year round. However, conditions can be slippery following rain, and some sections are prone to washout.
With a harmonious blend of challenging ascents and descents, scenic beauty, and enough technical elements to keep you engaged, the Lewis River Trail stands out as a must-ride. Just ensure you come prepared with plenty of water, energy bars, and a good dose of stamina.Happy riding!