Corvallis Mountain Biking

By Catherine Stevens

MountainBikeTrailsThe Mid-Valley area is paradise for mountain bikers. To the north and west of Corvallis, an extensive network of trails awaits, with everything from beginner-friendly trails to ones for experienced riders looking for adrenaline and thrills. Here are some of the best this town has to offer:

Bald Hill is perfect for beginners. Only a few miles long across all trails, this park offers several bike-friendly routes. A paved path leads from Campus Way and 53rd to the Bald Hill Barn, an abandoned barn on one side of the hill. From there, a number of trails lead to the top of Bald Hill, each less than a mile long. The Martin Coon Trail is a nearly mile-long gravel and dirt trail. For those looking for a steeper ascent, the Summit Road provides a harder path and crosses the South Summit Trail halfway through, providing the option to get on a less steep path if the Summit Road proves too difficult.

Dimple Hill is a 7.5-mile ride located in the southern part of the McDonald-Dunn Forest to the northwest of Corvallis. Another good trail for beginners, this trail is well-maintained and not technical. Upon reaching the summit, the wild blackberries that invade Corvallis en masse each year abound. The Horse Trail is one way to get down from the summit of Dimple Hill. Alternatively, if you’re not through with your biking fix for the day, go down to Chip Ross Park for more exploring.

Dan’s Trail is a 4-mile trail that forms a figure-eight shape. Starting at the end of 29th Street, it continues up until the top, where it intersects with the Horse Trail. Taking about an hour to ride, this is a moderate-level ride with a major hill climb towards the end, but is downhill for the rest of the ride.

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1 thought on “Corvallis Mountain Biking

  1. Okay, where to begin–especially given a trail story without trail-heads. To start, Dimple Hill is a location, not a trail. Which route, of many to Dimple Hill, is this 7.5 mile beginner trail? If it comes from town, that’s a pretty stiff climb for a beginner. If the intended route is from the Lewisburg Saddle, that might make for a good beginner route, but taking Horse Trail (no definite article needed–this is any horse, not a particular Horse) down would leave a rider far downhill from where he or she parked. Plus, Horse Trail isn’t a way down from the summit of Dimple–it starts a couple of miles from the top of the hill.

    Dan’s Trail, on the other hand, goes directly up to Dimple Hill. It is not a figure eight, and it does not start at the top of 29th, but in Chip Ross Park. It has three sections, lower, middle and upper, which together might be four miles long, I don’t know. At no point does it intersect with Horse Trail; rather, there is a connector (The Dan’s/Horse Connector) between the two. Riding it from bottom to top will take about an hour on its own, and it climbs most of the way, so, yes, most of the return is downhill–except for the last part of Lower Dan’s, which is a short climb.

    Anyway, you’re right, Dimple Hill is a great, accessible goal for local mountain bikers. Hopefully you can get out there sometime and see for yourself. But I hope you won’t be too disappointed to find that the blackberries have been eradicated.

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