Hosted by the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance
June 16-18, 2017
Willamette National Forest
The Oregon Timber Trail is an iconic 670-mile backcountry mountain bike route spanning Oregon’s diverse landscapes from California to the Columbia River Gorge. The route is composed of four unique tiers, each presenting their own challenges for trail maintenance and rehabilitation. This event is the second of four trail work parties—or Stewardship Weekends—that the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance has committed to coordinating throughout the state. Expect to work hard in a stunning landscape, drink good beer and coffee, and ride through some amazing backcountry forests and alpine meadows.
Oakridge and the Willamette National Forest have a strong legacy of volunteer trail stewardship with groups like Disciples of Dirt, GOATS, the Pacific Crest Trail Assoc, and Oregon Equestrian Trails. The Oregon Timber Trail Alliance is excited to join these ranks and improve the trails and forest experiences for everyone.
NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED - That's right, we just need a smile, a pair of gloves, and a good attitude from you. Our goal for this 3 day event is to clear several sections of the Bunchgrass Ridge Trail, part of the Eugene to Crest trail. Bunchgrass is home to humbling stands of old growth timber, remote meadows, and undulating views of the heart of the Oregon Cascades. It's remoteness and high elevation leave it one of the least-used trails in the Oakridge area. Many years early snowstorms will fall before the trail is cleared of the previous winter's treefall.
We'll all hike in from the trailhead and certified sawyers (chainsaw operators) will cut out fallen trees while volunteers will remove debris, brush, and undergrowth from the path as well as armor the trail tread where needed.
SCHEDULE - We'll set up base camp on Thursday evening, and plan on beginning work after breakfast on Friday morning. Expect to put in a solid 8 hours of trail work on Friday and Saturday. Sunday will be a half day—leaving some time for a ride after lunch. Volunteers will camp at Eagle Camp, about 30 miles east of Oakridge.
Friday, June 16th
Trail work: 9am - 5pm
Group meal: 6pm
Saturday, June 17th
Trail work: 9am - 5pm
Group meal: 6pm
Sunday, June 18th
Trail work: 9am -12pm
Group ride: 12:30pm - 3:30pm
GETTING THERE - Trail work will be done on the Bunchgrass Ridge trail, outside of Oakridge, OR. The road to base camp is steep and gravel for the last 8 miles after leaving highway 58, but is accessible by most passenger vehicles. Take extra care if you have low clearance. From Oakridge take highway 58 east for 15 miles and turn left onto Eagle Creek Road (NF 5883) just after you pass under the train trestle. Continue up Eagle Creek Rd for 6.6 miles and veer left on NF 379 for another mile to the crest of Bunchgrass Ridge and Eagle Camp. There is no cell reception so carry paper maps. It's about a 3.5 hour drive from Portland. Driving directions are here.
LOGISTICS - We're camping high up on Bunchgrass Ridge at Eagle Camp. There is no cell service. There is no potable water, though a natural spring is nearby. There are no toilets on site, if the group is large enough we'll likely dig a latrine to minimize impact. There is very limited room for vehicle parking and tent camping.
Our partners at Base Camp Brewing and Stumptown Coffee have generously supplied us with coffee and beer. Velo Cult will be on site grilling from their team trailer on Friday and Saturday nights, but plan on bringing enough food for all other meals. Oakridge is 30 slow miles away (~1hr) but has full services.
YOU SHOULD BRING - Tent, sleeping bag, pad, extra toilet paper, lots of water, cooking gear, food, and a camp chair. During the work day Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required to work on public lands; this includes a helmet (some loaners provided), eye protection, gloves, long pants, long sleeve shirt, and sturdy shoes/boots. Bring a pack, with water, snacks, mosquito repellant, and sunscreen each day as well. If you have a large pack or BOB trailer, consider bringing it as the trails are steep and rugged and getting tools to where they're needed will be a challenge. And don't forget your bike gear—we'll make sure there's some time to ride if you're not too exhausted at the end of the day.
WEATHER - Expect the nights to be chilly and the days to be hot. We're camping and working on a high ridgeline at about 5,000' so there's a likelihood of wind and rain. There's also still a slight chance that this year's heavy snowpack may be too deep for trail work, but we'll monitor and move locations if it doesn't melt out.
This is going to be a fun event working, camping, and riding on a gorgeous backcountry ridgeline with old growth stands and high country meadows that many in Oregon have not had the chance to experience. We're excited and grateful that you're spending a valuable summer weekend giving back to our public lands.
On behalf of the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance and the Willamette National Forest a huge thanks goes out to everyone lending a hand at this stewardship event.