FATMAP difficulty grade
While most of the trails in Oakridge are steep and demanding, this diverse destination does offer a delightful beginner run: the Salmon Creek Trail. Salmon Creek can be combined with a few other trails in the area, but for the best beginner run, simply complete an out-and-back from the trailhead marked here.
This beautiful, mostly flat singletrack trail runs through a deep forest, occasionally breaking out of the trees on the banks of the creek.
The combination of beautiful trees and creekside views makes for an ever-changing, very engaging experience that everybody is sure to enjoy! Within the first mile of the trailhead, you'll encounter a washed-out stream crossing with a steep descent into the wash, and a second stream crossing with slippery rock beyond that.
Persevere beyond these obstacles, and the rest of the trail mellows out considerably.
Ironically, the two toughest obstacles are within the first mile, but they can both be walked. Most of the trail consists of flat, flowy singletrack with a few small, embedded rocks.
If anything, the small roots and rocks will help beginners feel like they are on a *real* trail run and not just a gravel path, without causing any real concern or challenge. There are a few forks in the trail along the way, but generally speaking, they come back together again.
There are two spurs that head out to the road, so if you do reach a road unexpectedly, that could be the problem.
Double back and continue along the main trail. Whenever you've had enough, turn around and head back down to the trailhead.
Even though the trail is quite flat, you'll realize that you've been going gradually uphill, and will enjoy a mellow descent on the way back. If you do run all the way to the upper campground, you'll get to glimpse views of a small waterfall in the stream.