Run endless black dirt singletrack deep in the Cascade Mountains!
While Oakridge, Oregon is best-known as a mountain biking destination, this small logging town halfway between Eugene and Bend is home to an incredible network of singletrack running through the stunning mountains and valleys of the Cascades! Trail Runners can also find plenty to love about this beautiful area.
First, be warned that you'll find very few amenities here in Oakridge. But if you're willing to look beyond the non-existent food scene, you'll find dark black dirt trails stretching for hundreds of miles beneath the towering pine trees. After miles of running, you'll often pop out of the forest onto a rocky mountain peak or into a wide-open meadow and be awed by the expansive views of the Cascades. The mountain ridges and pine forests spread out in an endless sea, giving the impression that the entire world is covered in trees. And if you look carefully, you'll discover thundering waterfalls, crystal-clear alpine lakes, rushing rivers, and so much more.
Waldo Lake ratchets the distance up considerably with an almost 20-mile loop, but with only 1,800 feet of climbing it's still an eminently-runnable excursion.
To get higher into the mountains, tackle the Tire Mountain Loop, which is guaranteed to deliver stunning views. But you'll have to work for them—this route climbs and descends 3,800 vertical feet in 16 miles.
Finally, bag the highest point in the region with this 27.5-mile loop to the top of Diamond Peak. Bring your climbing legs, as you'll have to gain and lose about 5,400 vertical feet!