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Oakridge, Oregon

Alpine Trail. Photo: Chris Daniels

Alpine Trail. Photo: Chris Daniels

Oakridge is a sleepy mountain town in the middle of nowhere that has transformed “from ‘Heart of the Timber Empire’ to ‘Mountain Bike Capitol of the Northwest,'” according to Benjamin Beamer, long time local and board member for the Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards (GOATS). According to Beamer, Oakridge is home to over 300 miles of bike-legal singletrack, most of which can be classified as classic backcountry trail. Indeed, while many trails begin and end in the town of Oakridge, in moments it feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere, pedaling deep below the canopy of the massive forest.

While there isn’t much in the town of Oakridge to support mountain bike tourism, you will find two separate shuttle companies (Oregon Adventures and Cogwild) and a massive MTB festival by the name of “Mountain Bike Oregon.” Also, Oakridge is home to a quality local shop and some good brews (see below), but don’t expect to be brewery hopping like you can in nearby Bend.

Larison Rock Trail. Photo: Chris Daniels

Larison Rock Trail. Photo: Chris Daniels

Must-Ride Trails:

Beer:

Bike Shop:

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# Comments

  • k2rider

    Wait a tic….I could be mistaken in my old age but wasn’t Breckenridge hailed as THE top spot in another article just a month or two ago? Now it makes the list of the NEXT 10 places to ride instead of being THE place to ride. I remember that article because it surprised me as I don’t know a single soul that has ridden at Breck or even suggested a road trip with break being the destination. I admit I can never figure out how you come up with these lists anyway. I know for me that while the town itself isn’t anything fantastic (at least it isn’t uppity Bend), OAKRIDGE definitely should be in anybodys FIRST top 10 riding areas to check out as the riding there is top notch!!

  • azdb

    RE Matthew at North Shore comment….you just described my perfect riding scenario……..wow……no doubt there is sort of west centric bias. I am from AZ, 40+ years now, Ill never leave and have tons of riding near including Sedona area, but I have to someday go east for a trip, Arkansas has been an intrigue, but what you described is my ideal setting. Urban commute to trail system and water to boot….Awesome.

  • k2rider

    Yeah, that was the Breckenridge reference I was referring to. If it’s the #1 MTB destination in the WORLD, I would still expect it to make the top of the list in the USA as well….rather than “the next 10” list. Not that it matters anyway, I appreciate the articles as they keep me motivated to keep reaching out to try new areas. I’m be ticking Crested Butte, Downieville and Tahoe off my list this Summer.

  • Bentjammer

    Stokesville, Virginia is home of the Shenandoah Mountain 100. Local to Harrisonburg which is home of the Massanutten Hoo-Ha and Tour de Burg. Some nice technical east coast rocks and roots if you like that sort of thing.

    • Dylan Judy

      Agree with Bentjammer! Stokesville is great… there are some incredible and quite technical trails in the Shenandoah valley between Winchester and Harrisonburg VA. If you want very technical, check out Elisabeth Furnace near Strasburg VA.

  • Whistlepig

    Bellingham is definitely worthy of the list although I’m a bit surprised since it’s not really on a lot people’s radar as a destination. It can certainly be a very demanding place to ride when wet and can be tough in the dry too. Lots of good beer, a very strong community mountain biking vibe, easy trail access, and wicked fun trails are in store for visitors.

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