Trail builders: Bike, hike and ski trails developed on Spence Mountain

Trail builders: Bike, hike and ski trails developed on Spence Mountain

The views are incredible from viewpoints along the Spence Mountain Trail, Southern Oregon's newest network of trails. Depending on the vantage, the panorama can include Mount Shasta, Upper Klamath Lake, the Cascades peaks surrounding Crater Lake and Mount McLoughlin.

"It's even better than we imagined," said Drew Honzel, a member of the Klamath Trails Alliance, the Klamath Falls-based outdoor group that's developing Spence Mountain, of sights along and from the trail.

Creating...

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Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

Ashland watershed trail network to be expanded and upgraded

ASHLAND — Mountain bikers barreling down legit trails built for hikers and horseback riders were already causing headaches for Ashland watershed managers in 2011, but then things began to get egregious on a little stretch of hiking heaven called Marty's Trail.

Someone drove a backhoe around a trail gate and dug in a series of bumps and jumps for "downhiller" cyclists, much to the chagrin of darn near everyone else.  

"That was a bold move," says Jeffrey...

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A preview of Mount Shasta's ambitious rail trail

A preview of Mount Shasta's ambitious rail trail

Northern California's latest Rails to Trails project has brought an epic multi-use trail opportunity within easy excursion distance of the Rogue Valley. 

The three-pronged Great Shasta Rail Trail is planned along the old McCloud Railway between the towns of McCloud, Hambone and Burney. Two sections totaling 37 miles were opened in late September.

Most of the proposed 80-mile system is ready for public use. The ties have been stripped off the old railroad bed and a.....

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Biking the unpaved OC&E Woods Line State Trail

Biking the unpaved OC&E Woods Line State Trail

There's a lot to see for mountain bikers on the OC&E Woods Line State Trail, Oregon's longest linear state park.

On a recent ride along an unpaved section of the 100-mile trail, we pedaled past pastoral fields and, whoops, narrowly missed a slithery bull snake that was almost as long as the trail was wide.

We stopped to marvel at brilliantly colored thistles and watched skittery marmots, salamanders and “squeaks,” ground squirrels, play impromptu games of...

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Five cool bike rides for a hot summer

Five cool bike rides for a hot summer

A hot summer can be a tough time for mountain bikers. It's the time of year we most like to play, but overheating is no fun. These five trail systems, all worthy destinations in their own right, offer varying combinations of shade, elevation, potential swimming and general coolness.

1. Briggs Valley
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Mountain of the Rogue is Southern Oregon's hottest new trail

Mountain of the Rogue is Southern Oregon's hottest new trail

Sometimes, it pays off to be a morning person. Not sautéing yourself in the midday sun while trying to drag yourself, your bike and two liters of water up a barren hill is one perk.

That's what might happen if, like me, you are not a morning person. I braved the noon heat this week, too eager to check out the new Mountain of the Rogue trail in Rogue River.

The rough-hewn trail has been visible from I-5 for a while now, in the form of a couple of deep horizontal cuts in the...

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In a class of its own

In a class of its own

ASHLAND — It took six years and a dozen routes, but Oregon's fledgling state scenic bike route system is coming to Southern Oregon — and it's doing so in its most extreme fashion.

The 55-mile Cascade-Siskiyou Scenic Bikeway is one pedal away from becoming the first in the region, and it will be touted as a new attraction for serious road cyclists.

"In my mind, it's the most extreme one," says Alex Phillips, bicycle recreation specialist for the Oregon Parks and...

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Rocky Point to Crater Lake loop proposed as bike route

Rocky Point to Crater Lake loop proposed as bike route

The 47-mile trek between Rocky Point on Upper Klamath Lake and Crater Lake Lodge could become one of the next official Oregon scenic bikeways.

Discover Klamath proposed the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Bikeway to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department bikeway program, and it is now one of four finalists being considered for official designation.

Two years ago the state approved 12 scenic bikeways, all in the northern half of the Oregon. Discover Klamath Executive Director Jim...

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Siskiyou Velo club to host five Greenway rides

The Siskiyou Velo club will once again host a series of five organized bike rides designed to get people back on a bicycle in a pleasant and supportive way.

The Saturday rides all start at 10 a.m., take place on the Bear Creek Greenway and are focused on regular riders on regular bikes and wearing regular clothes.

This isn't for the lycra crowd.

"In these rides, we're targeting people who have ridden before, maybe as kids and maybe a little as adults, but they never got...

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Cycling through the pear blossoms

Cycling through the pear blossoms

The fragrance of flowering pear blossoms coupled with the lush, green foothills are one of the best treasures in the state of Jefferson, and a bike ride through the orchards in early April with thousands of pear trees in bloom is a visual symphony.

Every year my wife, Barb, and I look forward to cycling through the pear orchards when they are transformed into a white, fairy-tale landscape. It is our annual rite of spring. We have different cycling routes along the east and west sides...

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Rogue Rider: Lazy days at Lake Creek

It's happened.

Spring has snuck up on us once again, catching everyone by surprise.

Sometimes, you want to just take a slow, easy ride, drop a few gears and enjoy the scenery. That's exactly how I felt this week when I explored Lake Creek, a bucolic detour off the beaten path for most bikers.

It's also a mere 30 minutes from downtown Medford, about 13 miles up Highway 140. 

The hamlet is notable for its energetic historical society and preservation of its...

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Beach biker

Beach biker

It's difficult to say this, but there's a good chance my love of hiking Oregon Coast beaches is gone forever.

Oh, sure, I'll still enjoy watching the sun set across the sand, throwing the ball for my dog down the shoreline or splashing around in the surf with my nephews.

But as for hiking miles on the beach? Finished.

That's because last week, West Salem resident Craig Wojcik was nice enough to take me fat biking on the coastal beaches in Lincoln City.

On a short...

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