Fat biking may be all the rage on the beach, but there will always be riders looking to rip a trail through a deep forest. And now that kind of riding is available at the coast, in the form of the new Whiskey Run Trail System, a network of MTB trails that’s planned to encompass 30 miles of prime riding when it’s complete – but already has enough tracks to give you an all-day adrenaline boost.
You can still enjoy the scenic beaches, the quaint towns and the jutting headlands where grand forests reach down to the ocean. It’s the Oregon Coast, after all. But if you want to get your shred on, head inland a bit. Whiskey Run is custom-built for a range of riding skills and thrills, weaving through the unique coastal landscape just minutes from the Pacific Ocean.
It’s not hard to find; you can come off Highway 101 onto Beaver Hill Rd and access the system at the upper trailhead or turn east on Whiskey Run Road from Seven Devils Road, between Bandon and Charleston on the Oregon Coast Bike Route, for access from the lower parking lot.
Once you’ve parked, got your bearings and mounted up, the Whiskey Run trails provide a nice, tight network of loops that allows you to sneak away from friends or family at the beach for a quick ride – or you can spend all day exploring all the options, coming back for seconds on your favorite drops.
Here’s a quick survey course of the existing trails – this will give you a sense of the system, and then you can freelance, explore and craft your own adventure.
Start at the lower trailhead off Whiskey Run Road, climbing up Dirty Dishes and Hollerback to catch the upper loop of Sour Mash and White Lightning. Then groove on the bermy, swooping descent that flows down Bootlegger, Captain Blacklock and Sir Lance-a-lot.
Jump on a forest road for an efficient climb back to the top, where you can drop into Hollerback, Well Shot and Dirty Dishes, shooting through the thick, dark forest and likely letting out some involuntary whoops. Once you’re back at the lower trailhead, head across the road to the trails there, where you can make multiple loops of the berms and jumps until you’re a puddle of exhausted elation.
If you’ve got kids, or a group that’s not into a lot of climbing, Whiskey Run is nicely set up for a quick shuttle. From the access off Beaver Hill Road at the top of the system, a fun option is to roll down the green-rated Hollerback and Dirty Dishes to the lower trailhead, where everyone can pile back into the vehicle and head up for another lap.
Be sure to check the trail map on-site when you arrive, because new trails are already being planned – you might find something new, and maybe even better.
Riding Season It rarely snows here, but this is the Coast Range – you’re going to get plenty of rain in the winter and spring. Late spring through early fall is the best riding window, but if there are a couple days of dry weather, even in January or February, you might be able to enjoy some peak trail conditions even in the off-season.
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