Weekend Trask Ride, mid-March

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  • biggus duckus
    April 2, 2016 at 6:01 pm #1649

    I did this route two weekends ago and it was a blast. I left the MAX station in Hillsboro around 11am and it was great biking weather and temperature. The road route is pretty dull until you hit the old highway, and it really picks up when you hit Mt. Richmond Rd. Mt. Richmond is a surprisingly steep little bump that you have to summit to get to the other side.

    On the other side are the last of the paved roads, but I didn’t encounter much traffic on a Friday afternoon. Along Turner Creek Rd. is a beautiful little county park with a creek and a footbridge with some hiking tables. It’s a great spot for a first stop.

    Not long after that the gravel route begins (and doesn’t end for the next 25-30 miles). I only encountered one log truck and one county truck early on in this section, so I had the next few hours to myself. The trucker yelled something as he passed me and I ignored him, but then I realized that he said “It’s easier to go downhill!” He wasn’t kidding, the climb to the coastal summit is brutal, partly because of the grade and partly because of the gravel. I had to stop and hike a few sections for a breather, but if you have MTB gearing (or are in better shape than I am) you will be fine.

    After the summit is Barney Reservoir, and you are out of Timber Country and into a beautiful setting with a great gravel/dirt road. Only one other point has really chunky gravel, and it was only for a mile or so. I had 2.1″ tires and was thankful in spots, but this can probably be done comfortably on 40c or so.

    I ended up staying at the county park at the Trask fork because I’m a baby and sleeping solo in the middle of nowhere is a bit creepy. The campground also signifies the end of the gravel roads. The next day I met up with family in Rockaway and drove back with them after a couple days.

    If I had to do it again (and I will), I would make a loop with this route and the Toll Road, with my overnight point being at the campground again, or at least near there. I would also try to find a place in Forest Grove or Gaston to start the route earlier, but having the MAX option is nice. Basically the best parts of the route are in the middle, and I would cut off the first and last ten miles.

    Hope this helps!

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