2018 Event Calendar — Stewardship Campouts, Sawyer Trainings, Slideshows, & more

2018 Event Calendar — Stewardship Campouts, Sawyer Trainings, Slideshows, & more

It's the new year and we're gearing up for a busy twelve months on the Oregon Timber Trail. A lot of you have been asking about our popular Stewardship Campouts and Sawyer Certifications so we've been busy getting all our ducks in a row. Here is our 2018 calendar of events covering a broad spectrum from cooking, in the backcountry, to social panel events, to weekend-long certifications. We hope this series is inspiring and educational and we're looking forward to sharing these experiences with you. 

Technical Skills for Backcountry Trail Maintenance

Technical Skills for Backcountry Trail Maintenance

Ever gone to a trail work party and wish there was actual instruction? Us too! Taught by Kevin Rowell of the USFS, this weekend-long intensive will include both classroom learning as well as hands-on, on-trail skills development. The trail building skills class will focus on the basics of logout, brushing and tread work for backcountry trails. Participants will learn how to run safe, regulation-compliant and productive trail work events. Highly recommended for anyone looking to participate in upcoming OTT or Trans-Cascadia work events!

Deschutes Tier Stewardship Campout 2018

Deschutes Tier Stewardship Campout 2018

The Oregon Timber Trail Alliance has committed to maintaining a figure-8 loop of trails that connect the Cascade Lakes area outside of Bend to Waldo Lake and Fuji Mountain. Fast flowing trails through ponderosa forests and over ancient volcanic flows. Brisk dips in your choice of lakes and work clearing downed trees as well as repairing trail tread and water crossings. 

Sawyer Certification & First Aid - Horse Creek Lodge

Sawyer Certification & First Aid - Horse Creek Lodge

One of our greatest identified needs to improve the experience of trail users along the Oregon Timber Trail corridor is trail maintenance. A large part of that work involves removing downed trees each season. In order to do so safely and legally with power saws on National Forest managed lands one needs to obtain a certification. This certification is the same detailed S212 course that is used nationwide to certify USFS employees, fire fighters, and anyone using saws on public lands. In 2017 the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance helped train 20 new sawyers who subsequently contributed 534 hours of volunteer labor maintaining trails on pubic lands. Thank you!

Sawyer Certification & First Aid - Suttle Lodge

Sawyer Certification & First Aid - Suttle Lodge

One of our greatest identified needs to improve the experience of trail users along the Oregon Timber Trail corridor is trail maintenance. A large part of that work involves removing downed trees each season. In order to do so safely and legally with power saws on National Forest managed lands one needs to obtain a certification. This certification is the same detailed S212 course that is used nationwide to certify USFS employees, fire fighters, and anyone using saws on public lands. In 2017 the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance helped train 20 new sawyers who subsequently contributed 534 hours of volunteer labor maintaining trails on pubic lands. Thank you!

SURVEY: Did you ride part or all of the Oregon Timber Trail? We want to hear from you.

© Gabriel Amadeus

© Gabriel Amadeus

Since launching the Oregon Timber Trail route guide and GPS files in June over 1,000 people have download these resources. But how many of you actually got out on the trail? We've seen some incredible journeys play out on the OTT Riders Facebook Group, The Radavist, Revelate Designs, and MTBR.com but now we want to hear about your experience.

It doesn't matter if you only rode for a few hours or a few weeks, your answers will help improve the route resources, guide trail alignment improvements, and obtain grant funding. We appreciate your time and sincerely thank you for exploring Oregon with us in the Pioneer Year of the Oregon Timber Trail. 

take the survey now >> 

Waucoma Backcountry Swift Campout

Waucoma Backcountry is a high ridgeline on the northeast shoulder of Mount Hood adjacent to the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness. It offers splendid views of the mountain and Columbia River Gorge, as well as peaceful alpine lakes and wildflower meadows. A network of defunct dirt roads and trails provide access for hikers and mountain bikers alike. 

The Oregon Timber Trail Alliance loosely organized a beginner-friendly trip into the area last weekend as part of the Swift Campout. Three first-time bikepackers and a handful of experienced bike campers rode the aqueduct trail from Kingsley Reservoir and found a splendid base camp deep in the forest at Black Lake. The following day some of us ventured towards Wahtum Lake but found the trail blocked by a gnarl of windfall, while others relaxed in camp and enjoyed fishing and floating in the crystal clear lake. 

The Waucoma Backcountry is a newly proposed recreation area that the OTTA fully supports in conjunction with a variety of user organizations from the northwest corner of the state. Oregon, especially near the Portland metro area, is in dire need of entry-level and car-free bikepacking areas. The Waucoma Backcountry area proposes roughly 3 miles of new trail (mostly short connectors) and about 25 miles of road-to-trail conversions. The resulting network would provide a multitude of options for families, beginners, and seasoned bikepackers alike to access lakeside campgrounds and create trips as short or as long as they desire throughout the non-technical and stunningly scenic landscape. Not to mention providing Oregon Timber Trail riders an enticing spur option to extend their journey by a few days. 

Sign up below to stay informed about the Waucoma Backcountry and learn how you can help: 

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WaucomaNorthMap with mileage 082016.jpg

Willamette Tier Stewardship Campout in Photos

Our second Stewardship Campout of the year—Bunchgrass Ridge—landed us in the middle of nowhere between Oakridge and Waldo Lake in the Willamette National Forest. Bunchgrass Ridge is a long, oft forgotten trail that also goes by the moniker Eugene to Crest Trail. But before that it was a primary trading route between the Klamath Tribes on the east of the Cascades and the Kalapuya and Molalla Tribes in the western valleys of the the range. 

During high summer these tribes would ascend to higher elevations for cooler temps and more abundant game. As they left for the season they'd light controlled burns behind them to guarantee the alpine meadows weren't encroached upon by ambitious young fir seedlings. These semi-regular burnings ensured deer would be easy to find and the camas plentiful when they returned. 

In the early 1900's a fire lookout was constructed on the remote Fuji mountain and once again Bunchgrass Ridge was the easiest way to connect pack animals to Oakridge some 30 miles away. In the 1990s the deep old growth stands flanking the Bunchgrass ridgeline were the site of the longest timber sale blockade in the nation. These days however, few use this long, remote backcountry trail—much less even know it's up there. 

Although Oregon Timber Trail riders will be travelling in an uphill direction, Bunchgrass Ridge is one of only two connective mountain bike trails that cross the Cascade Range in Oregon. It's an important connector for riders of the OTT, but even more importantly it connects Oakridge to Bend and opens up a multitude of overnight or epic day-riding options.  

The Oregon Timber Trail Alliance is happy to report that by next weekend the entirety of Bunchgrass Ridge should be mostly cleared from Eagle Camp (NF379) all the way down through Heckletooth to Oakridge. Hat's off to our group of 30 rockstar volunteers as well as our generous partners at Base Camp BrewingStumptown Coffee, Bobs Red Mill, and Nuun. And we couldn't have done this without the amazing support from Disciples of Dirt and the Willamette National Forest with their continued assistance in developing the Oregon Timber Trail safely, smartly, and efficiently. 

From where we camped at Eagle Camp it's about a 25 mile ride with over 7,000' of elevation loss. Don't let that fool you though, it's still a rugged, slow, and exhausting ~6-7 hour journey. For more riding information check out Cascade Singletrack.