There’s a place on Oregon’s South Coast where you can ride through a coastal forest on ribbons of clay dirt, with moderate climbs and gentle descents. The tree canopy shelters you from rain, and the 10 miles of cross country-style trail system will eventually expand to about 30, connecting to the beach with views of the ocean and stunning coastline.
Whether you’re new to mountain biking or love to shred the likes of Oakridge, Sandy Ridge and other Oregon hot spots, the brand-new Whiskey Run Mountain Bike Trail is calling. The trail opened in June 2018 to trail-happy adventurers of all skill levels. It’s the first trail system of its kind on the South Coast.
Currently, the trail is shared with hikers. Volunteers join in trail work parties every Wednesday evening. And Cribbins is thrilled to be getting unsolicited emails every few weeks from locals thanking her for the new trail system — another way to enjoy their outdoors in addition to fishing, camping, hunting, bird watching and playing on the beach.
“It’s a beautiful location,” says Melissa Cribbins, the Coos County Commissioner who helped spearhead the project and lead it through its community-based design, funding, planning and professionally built construction. The county-owned forest connects to Whiskey Run Beach, 10 miles north of Bandon, from which it takes its name. “Trees grow really fast on the Coast,” Cribbins says. “You get that whole different look as the forest changes.”
After a kickoff festival in early June 2018, Cribbins’ team, including the nonprofits Wild Rivers Coast Mountain Biking Association and Wild Rivers Coast Foundation, is now seeking funding to expand the trail network from 10 miles to a total of 30 over the next few years.
Cribbins is a native of the town of Coquille, 18 miles northeast of Bandon, along the Coquille River. She grew up here, moved away for college and law school, then returned in 2007 to raise her family and serve her community, with a focus on public health, sustainable forest management and giving people the opportunity to recreate in the woods.
“Giving kids an opportunity and place to go out and recreate safely in the woods is a win for everyone,” Cribbins says.
If you go: Find directions to the trail, lodging options and more inspiration for adventuring around Bandon. Visit South Coast Bicycles in nearby Bandon, south of the trails to outfit your ride. For rentals, maps, guided rides and more, visit Pineapple Express Adventure Rides in Port Orford.
Another new trail for your radar: the 3-mile Broadway Flow Trail at Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort in Eastern Oregon opens during the resort’s annual ALMR Mountain Bike Festival (Aug. 4, 2018).