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Timothy Creek Professional Review and Guide
"This gorgeous lake ride is a great introduction to riding singletrack. The ride meanders around the great expanse of Timothy Lake, situated in the Mount Hood National Forest. You'll have multiple opportunities to gaze at majestic Mount Hood in the distance and cool off in Timothy Lake. Trail surface: Singletrack, doubletrack, and paved road.Start: Timothy Lake Trailhead 28 at Timothy. Other trail users: Hikers and equestrians. Canine compatibility: Dogs permitted. Length: 13.8-mile loop. Approximate riding time: 3 to 4 hours. Difficulty: Easy, due to smooth trail surface and minimal elevation gain."
--Lizann Dunegan, Mountain Biking Oregon: Northwest & Central Oregon (Falcon Guides).
Reviewers here say this is a good trail for beginners and I would agree regarding the South Shore Trail and the Northwest Shore Trail. These are smooth single tracks with little to no elevation change. However, I am not a beginner and really enjoy these faster portions of this trail. There are portions of the loop trails that would be quite difficult for less skilled riders and these are mostly along the east and southeast segments of the loop. These have rocks and roots that require some understanding of picking a safe and effective line and short steep portions with quick transitions and some switchbacks that mean getting off the saddle and over the rear tire. Not for beginners without some coaching.
The scenery is hard to beat anywhere: Great views, topography, flora, lake tributaries, and lakeside camping sites are quite soothing and memorable. The quintessential Cascade Lake ride. Oh, I strongly recommend clockwise if riding the loop system of trails...there are portions along the east and southeast sides of the lake that for me are better uphills and downhills when going this direction.
Very pleasant trip around Timothy Lake. I went around clockwise and enjoyed it - quite a bit of single track with enough elevation changes to make things fun. Good choice for beginners (and those not in top shape :-) Only one 1/2 mile+ uphill slog on gravel double track, but the reward was a fun single track downhill. I turned it into a 14 mile ride.
This would be a good choice to take someone new to mountain biking, but not for young children (though there are some parts around the lake that would be good if you are camping nearby anyway).
If you want a little diversion, drive to the Little Crater Lake campground and take the short walk (not ride) to the lake.
Not sure why they named it Timothy Creek, it's actually Timothy Lake. Anyway, this was a very nice ride for the family (my wife and our 3 teens) on a beautiful October day. Nobody else on the trail except a few horse folk. This would make a great introductory trail for new mountain bikers, but not little kids.
This is a nice ride. I would recommend against the clockwise guide suggestion. We went counter-clockwise and the it just felt right. There is not much climbing on the whole ride, but by going around to the right, you get a really great downhill at the top of the lake. You need to bring a map with you as there are few intersections where it will help to pay attention. Unfortunately, it was foggy when we rode it, but the views of Hood are supposed to be great. I would recommend against breaking your finger in the first 10 mintues of a 13-mile ride. Other than that - it beat the hell out of working for the day.
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