Expect clear cuts, steep and loose gravel climbing, logging trucks, and plenty of pickups to keep you on your toes. And despite all that, it’s still a little gem of a route and one of our all-time favorites.
Seems everyone tries to outsmart us by cutting out the southern hook over Mt. Richmond, through Pike, and back up Turner Creek. While cutting straight west through Cherry Grove along Roaring Creek might look great on paper, trust us – it’s not worth getting lost on private land and ruining your weekend. It’s also very clearly marked “No Trespassing” for whatever that’s worth.
This route is easily linked up with our Tillamook Baby Loaf and Toll Road routes (both coming soon!) to create a remote dirt loop to the coast and back. If you’re riding it one-way, we suggest tying it in with the Wave bus back to Portland. Reservations are recommended and make sure they know you’ll have a bike. The bus only holds two bikes on a front rack, but they’ve accommodated us in the past by putting another bike in the back.
This route is slightly easier, slightly less committing, and slightly less difficult to navigate than the Toll Road route. The Tillamook Baby Loaf route is a couple steps harder than this on all accounts. If you’re trying to decide which to ride – that’s how we’d grade them – Trask, Toll Road, Tillamook Baby Loaf – easiest to hardest.
The first decent water en route is at the Barney Reservoir. From that point on expect a steady flow of creeks, streams, and rivers until you hit pavement at mile 50. There is potable water at the Trask River County Park (just off route near mile 50), but for whatever reason it has a very strong, unpleasant sulfur taste.
Cell service drops off dramatically once you get near the Coast Range. Expect little-to-no cell service from approximately miles 16-58.
Lots of folks camp at the Barney Reservoir even though it’s technically off limits. Obviously we won’t recommend you break the law, but you won’t be the only one if you do. There’s a trail along part of lake that parallels the road that could provide access to some off-the-road spots that could be nice.
If you prefer organized camping, the only option on the route is the Trask River County Park (just off route near mile 50). Other further flung options could include Cape Meares and other State Park campgrounds out towards the coast.
If you are good with a map you can conceivably ride this route without a GPS. Some of the intersections between miles 31 and 50 can be confusing, so we generally recommend navigating with a GPS.
If you’re feeling adventurous, a typically better option up to the Barney Reservoir involves taking the Old Railroad Grade out towards Fairdale, heading up Fairchild Creek and linking it up Flora Mainline to the North Fork Trask Road, like so. The last time we were out that way they were actively logging on Fairchild Creek, but who knows what it’s like today…
Second, at least part of this route travels through private Weyerhaeuser land. Current Weyerhaeuser rules allow bicycle travel as outlined on their website (you’ll be traveling through the North Valley section). This is a privilege, not a right.
You can also expect active logging throughout the Tillamook State Forest portions of the route.