Mountain Bike! Oregon
by Laurie & Chris Leman (Menasha Ridge Press)
© Laurie & Chris Leman/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.
First of all, I’m a local. If you know the Oakridge Mountain Biking Trails, you must think that I’m boasting. I only say this to give my reader a point of view.
The Larison Creek Trail is one of many local’s favorite trails. I have heard several people recommend it to nomadic riders. The trail’s attraction is wide and the variety is well mixed. Here is one rider’s modus operandi.
My preference is to ride the 2102 Larison Rock Rd up to the trail head and enjoy the impressive mountain views and numerous animal encounters along the way. The picturesque south-easterly facing slopes and gradual accent are a great way to spend the first hour of the ride before the workout begins. Yes, the down hill part of this ride will get your heart pumping and strength challenged. In short, the Larison Creek Trail has a little bit of everything for the intermediate/advanced rider to like.
We rode this trail on the MBO weekend. It is a nice loop with a good grind up the road/fire road and a 6-mile single-track. Disregard the map in the guidebook, as it is misleading. If you ride this as a loop, when you leave the pavement and get on the fire road it is 8 miles to the start of the single track. You actually cross over Larison Creek before you get to the single track. The single track begins ~1-mile after you cross Larison Creek. We had a bit of confusion as the map makes it look like you start the single track before you get to the creek. The upper part of the single track is challenging with many switchbacks. The remainder of the trail is rolling and has great views of the lake. We rode from Oakridge for about a 28-mile loop. It was a great ride, and the fire road has some good views.
This trail begins up a forest road that climbs toward Larison Rock, a spur road to the left rolls along a ridge and then descends into Larison Creek Valley. The singletrack descent is narrow, rocky and overgrown. It is more technical than it is fast or fun and there are few opportunities to see the scenery through the dense foliage. This is a great ride for those seeking a technical challenge, not so great for those looking for fast descents and photo ops.
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