Tucked away in the serene landscapes of Oakridge, Oregon, the Salmon Creek Trail unfolds as an intricate mix of beginner-friendly terrains and technically demanding stretches. Spanning 4 miles and set alongside the picturesque Salmon Creek, this trail offers a little of everything, making it an exciting choice for cyclists of varied skill levels.
The north side of the trail is a gentle roller-coaster stretching across 3.5 miles. Suitable for novices yet captivating enough for intermediate riders, it largely consists of singletrack interspersed with patches of dirt road. Terminating at the Salmon Creek Falls C.G., the trail has minimal obstacles and a limited presence of poison oak. However, a note of caution: the bridge connecting the north and south trails succumbed to a winter storm some years back. Hence, what was once a 6.5-mile loop now stands as a 14-mile out-and-back route if both trails are covered.
The trail on the south side is where the adrenaline truly spikes. Not recommended for beginners, it features narrow singletracks over rocky, root-infested terrains with steep inclines and moisture-rich grounds. Due to the plethora of salamanders inhabiting the trail, it's best experienced in dry conditions.
On the eastern edge of Oakridge, veer north from Hwy. 58 onto Fish Hatchery Rd. After approximately a mile, the hatchery emerges on the right. The more demanding of the two trails starts at the end of a brief dirt road near the hatchery's NE corner. For the easier route, continue on Fish Hatchery Rd. until the bridge comes into view. A dirt parking lot on the right awaits.
While some riders find certain sections of the trail less appealing, others applaud the newly added top section. With its high banked berms, rolling terrains, and swift segments, it's distinct from other Oakridge trails. The trail offers a cross-country descending style with numerous blind corners, especially on bench-cut hillside paths. Seasonal conditions play a crucial role too. A ride in late January witnessed a washed-out section, with the trail becoming slightly damp owing to heightened water levels in Salmon Creek. Yet, the upper segments, particularly around the "Warrior Trail" section, remain child-friendly, proving to be an exhilarating introduction to trail riding for younger enthusiasts.
Salmon Creek Trail, with its blend of terrains and challenges, stands as an enticing offering for cyclists visiting Oakridge. Its diverse nature ensures that every ride becomes a unique adventure.