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Mountain Biking Oakridge's North Fork Trail

06.18.15

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Mountain Biking Oakridge's North Fork Trail

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  • The Office Covered Bridge at the trailhead is the longest in Oregon.- Mountain Biking Oakridge's North Fork Trail
  • The North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.- Mountain Biking Oakridge's North Fork Trail
  • One of the Class III rapids along the trail.- Mountain Biking Oakridge's North Fork Trail
  • One of the more technical sections of North Fork Trail.- Mountain Biking Oakridge's North Fork Trail
  • Licorice fern  (Polypodium glycyrrhiza).- Mountain Biking Oakridge's North Fork Trail
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North Fork Trail is a winter standby for riders in the southern Willamette Valley area. It is also popular in the summer as part of the full Alpine Trail, an all day challenge that is one of the signature rides in the area. This there-and-back jaunt along the north bank of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River holds up well to rain and rarely receives the snow that shuts down much of the other Oakridge area riding in the winter. The narrow singletrack, rushing river, and gorgeous forest all vie for your attention on this fun beginner to intermediate trail.

The ride starts on the north side of Office Bridge, the longest covered bridge in Oregon. It was built in 1945 by the Westfir Lumber Company to handle log and lumber trucks servicing the large mill pond and mill that used to employ much of the local company town, Westfir. The timber company's headquarters at the south end of the bridge is now a bed and breakfast. Office Bridge is also the only covered bridge east of the Mississippi that has a separate pedestrian walkway.

The trail stays within sight of the river as it twists upstream. The first mile is the most technical, with steep rocky sections and some exposure. However, the trail tread eventually smooths out and allows for higher speeds. All too soon the upstream trailhead at Forest Road 1910 appears. Before turning around for the ride back, take a minute to ride out to the bridge for a nice view downstream.

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