By Catherine Stevens
The 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.