Aching for a new mega-adventure that involves hundreds of miles of singletrack riding and a route so new the maps are still being made? Start planning today for a summer riding across the entire state of Oregon on the Oregon Timber Trail. Begin with Mt. Shasta in view over your shoulders, finish by dipping your toes in the Columbia River Gorge.
The Oregon Timber Trail is 650 miles long, includes 56,000 feet of elevation gain, and is entirely legal. (It's also got hotsprings at several points along the way.) They say doing the whole thing should take 10 - 25 days, depending.
The OTT is the creation of a multi-year planning effort by four principal organizations: Travel Oregon, the U.S. Forest Service, the federal Bureau of Land Management, and trip planners Limberlost. It stitches together pre-existing trails and roads and avoids crossing wilderness areas. You may have heard of similar routes: the Pacific Crest Trail, the Oregon Outback, the Great Divide Route, etc. What sets the OTT apart from the others is that it is designated for mountain biking.
Intrepid women Kim McCormack and Sam Clark were the first riders to complete the entire route last July. Their journey was covered in the pages of Club Ride by writer Leslie Kehmeier, and was also written up on the OTT site.
To tackle it as a whole, is "ambitious," to say the least. But the organizers have divided it into four sections, or tiers, to make it more accessible, and some sections are rideable by cyclists with a more average range of skill sets, (though some are recommended only for those with expert backpacking skills.) The southern-most section, for example, includes the opportunity to rent several forest service lookouts along the way, which would obviously provide some welcome relief for those with less ability in the ultra-light camping department.
So, get to work on your summer vacation planning and consider doing all or part of the OTT. And, while you're in the area, you might want to consider booking The Oregon Cascade Mountain Singletrack, a 5-day guided mountain bike tour with Rim Tours.