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I've been wanting to go down to Corvalis(from Portland) to check out Mac Forest. Can anyone comment on current trail conditions or recommend a good trailhead or starting point? I'm not familiar with the area at all so any advice would be great.

thanks - Chip
 

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ChipAllen said:
I've been wanting to go down to Corvalis(from Portland) to check out Mac Forest. Can anyone comment on current trail conditions or recommend a good trailhead or starting point? I'm not familiar with the area at all so any advice would be great.

thanks - Chip
Conditions are slick and nasty. Trails take a good 4 or more days to dry out. If you like mud, they are descendable, but not really climbable. I'm not sure Mac would be worth a trip down from Portland. Dallas offers more singletrack for your effort. Mac is all about climbing fireroad with short singletrack descents .. then repeat. You can get some nice loops on the legit trails which are climbable due to the fact they are half gravel and doublewide. What are you looking for/expecting?
 

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On April 15 the seasonal trails in Mac Forest open up. They'll be pretty wet, but at least they'll be legal. From Oak Creek trailhead, Homestead to Uproute and down Extendo is a nice ride, under an hour.

For a longer ride, go in at Chip Ross Park, take Dan's Trail to the top of Dimple Hill, road down to Uproute, Extendo to the road, climb road to Horse, then back to Chip Ross. Should take 2-3 hours. Man, I'd like to squeeze that in tonight. 3 more days!
 

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BuddhaRoadkill said:
Extendo is the only seasonal trail now. Skip that and you can get your ride in tonight! :p
Thats not correct according to the OSU website. 90 percent of the legal trails are sesonal.

BTW if you don't like steep downhill trails stay away from extendo...
 

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Aigh ... but how often do they update their website? ;)
Alpha, Uproute, and Horse have been all year for sometime. Dan's was made all year this year. [they covered half of it in gravel] Hmmm, come to think of it, Lower Dan's that connects Chip Ross to Mac is also seasonal - but it's short and there's road that connects.
So that leaves Extendo as the only real seasonal trail [Peavy trails are seasonal as well - but that's peavy.] No offense Kona, but Extendo is generally considered an easy one with no real steeps. There are some roots and some incline, but nothing challanging [unless your climbing it :eek:] . All in the eye of the rider of course.
 

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Well I mostly ride Peavy and Calloway trails. Extendo scared the crap out of me. I like riding easy stuff I guess. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the advice. I've heard things are definitely better once they dry out. Just getting anxious to try some new things. I'm sure I'll make it down there eventually to check it out.
 

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I live in NW Corvallis. My standard loop is to ride from my house south and west to Harrison, out to Oak Creek and up the gravel road (closed to motor vehicles) up to the top of Dimple Hill and down Dan's, back through the Timberhill subdivision and back to my house.

For a shorter loop, I ride up 29th Street and access this trail system via 2 or 3 unofficial access points in the back of the yuppie Timberhill subdivision that abuts the OSU owned McDonald-Dunn Forest. These unofficial access points have been more problematic lately- Timberhill Inc. has been logging, roading and subdividing the last part of their property next to the college owned land. But it is still possible to get into, and out of "McDunn" Forest this way- just takes a bit of exploring.

Dan's is not difficult, but is nice forest singletrack that is open year round. I personally would like to see more mtb trails developed here, and see huge untapped potential, but we are lucky to have access to existing trails. I've ridden Dans in all conditions this winter- from completely dry to so wet that the mud doesn't even stick because it is raining so hard.

Extendo is officially closed all winte, but my personal ethics allow me to ride it when it is dry and I don't feel I am damaging the trail, whether officially closed or not. These conditions have occurred for weeks at a time during this abnormally dry winter, although conditions are wet now. I'm not a great rider but would agree that with a decent FS bike and intermediate skills you will not find this trail super challenging. Very fun though- I was having a blast riding it every day after work during our extended dry weather- even though it was officially "closed" and rightly so because it is usually a mud bog this time of year.
 

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Considering Hood River is about the same distance from Portland, I think you'd be better off heading there. Mac is OK--definitely the best riding within 5 minutes of my house!--but Hood sounds like it has a plethora of awesome trails. I suspect it dries out sooner, being farther east. Haven't ridden there yet, myself.
 

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I find Dan's, Horse, Alpha, and UpRoute to be better in the wet. Being largely gravel, they get super sketchy in the dry. But in the wet, the gravel is awesome. Well worth losing them in the summer. [The other trails are of course much better dry.]
 

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No offense Kona, but Extendo is generally considered an easy one with no real steeps. There are some roots and some incline, but nothing challanging [unless your climbing it :eek:] . All in the eye of the rider of course.[/QUOTE]

This was one of the few trails I found last season by name. Went in June, and it was amazing how much mud there was. Brand new to egg beaters. Took 10 falls or so. Glad no one else saw the spectacle... :eek: In the mud, it is a pretty slick decline!
 

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Oh yeah the gravel on Alpha

Rufudufus said:
First time I rode Alpha it had just been gravelled. Possibly my most painful wipeout ever. But the gravel tends to wear in, even when dry they're not that bad after a month or two.
I think I know exactly where you are talking about. That is a very painful wipeout. They need to warn you when they have dumped fresh gravel. :(
 

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Consider Dallas over Mac

Someone threw in a mention about this but didn't extrapolate a whole bunch - if you want singletrack and you're willing to drive from Portland area all the way to Corvallis - save yourself 40 miles of driving and get a lot more singletrack for your effort by riding at Dallas. If you go to Corvallis for the 'legal' trails, you're going to find nothing but beginner level stuff and its all short. Corvallis is great if you live close and want to tackle steep hills (via gravel roads) to get in shape, but OSU doesn't make a trail 'legal' until they've smoothed/cleared/gravelled the thing until its no longer fun to ride. Even if you're into the 'illegal' trails there, they are fun and technical, but there's not that many miles of them.

So, go to Dallas. Burma Peak/Mud Puddle/Treefort/Tanglewood/Woodpecker makes about a 17 mile loop. Yes, the first 7 is mostly uphill on roads, but the last 10 is predominantly downhill singletrack - very fun. Or, go up Robb Mill road and do a Discover/Hollow Log/Hobbit loop and finish with Tanglewood/Woodpecker. Not as long as Burma, but lots of singletrack. Maps are available at Santiam Bicycle in Salem.

Anyway, just some thoughts to add to the pile...
 

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Or better yet...

Oddblob said:
So, go to Dallas. Burma Peak/Mud Puddle/Treefort/Tanglewood/Woodpecker makes about a 17 mile loop. Yes, the first 7 is mostly uphill on roads, but the last 10 is predominantly downhill singletrack - very fun. Or, go up Robb Mill road and do a Discover/Hollow Log/Hobbit loop and finish with Tanglewood/Woodpecker. Not as long as Burma, but lots of singletrack. Maps are available at Santiam Bicycle in Salem.
...keep adding expensive parts to your bike until it tips the scale at over 40 lbs - and then take it to Falls City. Trails are open year-around, not much climbing, and you get to experience the joy of flight. :)
 
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