Nestled within the old growth forests of Oakridge, Oregon, the Middle Fork Trail (often confused with its other names) presents cyclists with a harmonious blend of moderate terrains and captivating scenery along the West Fork of the Willamette River. Stretching over 20 miles, the trail promises an engaging ride for intermediate riders.
Starting off, the trail provides an almost effortless ride through picturesque landscapes for the first 5 miles. Moving from North to South gives riders a subtle elevation gain due to the upstream direction. While it isn’t enough to make one feel the climb, the descent back feels considerably easier.
At the 5.5-mile mark, cyclists will cross the river using the rd 38 bridge. As the trail reaches the 7-mile point, some slight climbs and descents emerge via switchbacks, both preceding and following the Indian Cr crossing.
Continuing along the river, the trail extends for over 20 miles, passing several campgrounds and intersecting with various other trails. It presents riders with an excellent opportunity for a one-way ride with a shuttle.
For those eager to access the trail, journey a mile west from downtown Oakridge. Taking a right on Hills Cr Dam Rd, followed by another right on rd 21 after half a mile, leads to the Sand Prairie Campground. Trailhead parking is clearly signposted within the campground.Note: Be prepared to pay a $7 parking fee if choosing to park within Sand Prairie Campground. This fee is typical for many recreation areas in Oakridge.
Reviews highlight the trail's wonderful scenery, solitude, and its mix of terrains. While some sections are excellent for beginners, others become progressively challenging. Riders particularly emphasize the mesmerizing old growth forests and the occasional technical patches along the route.One suggestion is to undertake the ride from Timpanagos to Sand Prairie Campground for a truly epic cycling experience. The terrain, although predominantly flat, is surrounded by steep sections, making it advisable to arm oneself with a reliable map.
The Middle Fork Trail, with its combination of gentle terrains, technical patches, and awe-inspiring sceneries, remains a must-ride for cycling enthusiasts visiting Oakridge. Its diverse character guarantees every cyclist, whether beginner or seasoned, finds their niche.