Deschutes River Trail draws cyclcists to old rail bed

A nice video and article from the Oregonian today. This  trail has great views of the River, and is one of my personal favorite trails.


Deschutes River Trail draws cyclcists to old rail bed (video, favorite trail poll)
Published: Friday, May 06, 2011, 6:00 AM
By Terry Richard, The Oregonian The Oregonian
You don’t need to let the spring rainy season mud up your mountain biking.

A good place to ride when other trails are muddy is the lower Deschutes River Trail, east of The Dalles. Deschutes River State Recreation Area at the trailhead also has a pleasant campground.

The area at the mouth of the Deschutes, where the river meets the Columbia, doesn’t get much rain, but mud wouldn’t be a problem anyway because the firm trail follows an old rail bed. The trail surface is rocky, but easy to ride.

To find the trail, drive east of Portland on Interstate 84 past The Dalles to the Celilo exit (No. 97). Drive the frontage road on the south side of the freeway three miles east to the entry to Deschutes River State Recreation Area. If you’re coming from the east, leave I-84 at Biggs and drive the frontage road four miles west.

The bike trail begins at the parking area at the park entrance, not farther into the park near the campground. That’s the trailhead for hikers.

Ride south on the trail as far as you want to go, though if you go too far the trail disappears in a rugged washout. A good turnaround point is the old Harris ranch at 12 miles. The trail gains only 110 feet over that distance, so hills are not an issue.

This ride will make you want to find other rail-trails to ride. Rail-trails are old railroad beds that are converted to recreation purposes after the rails, ties and rock ballast are removed.

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