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The Ride: Timber Logjam, an uncommon loop through Portland’s backcountry

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

Heading up Bacona Road.
(All photos: Gabriel Amadeus Tiller)

The latest entry in our The Ride series comes from none other than master of creative endeavors (on and off the bike), Gabriel Amadeus Tiller. Gabe joined RideWithGPS Ambassador “Unpaved” and a few dozen other intrepid souls for the “Timber Logjam” ride this past Saturday.

55 miles, 6,200 feet of climbing.
Full details at RideWithGPS.com.

Unpaved has been putting together some fantastic rough and dirty routes in the countryside surrounding Portland and recently hosted an open-invite to ride some of the many gritty logging roads surrounding Timber, Oregon. I dragged my lazy winter legs out of bed and took the light rail out to Hillsboro early last Saturday to see what kind of sadistic torture they had pieced together for us. It was just what you’d expect of the Oregon Coast range in mid February: wet, cold, steep, muddy, foggy, and tough.

We started off at a quick pace on the Banks Vernonia Trail, but soon spread out on the long climb up Bacona Road. Just when I thought we were smack dab in the middle of nowhere, we ran across Alison Hill and Jay Graves staffing a surprise coffee and homemade cookie stand for us. Now caffeinated, we grinningly descended the slimy trails of Stub Stewart and traversed remote logging roads across Highway 26 and through the small enclave of Timber—nestled right at the the headwaters of the proposed Salmonberry Trail.

After an exhilarating descent out of Timber we climbed a steep grade up Wildcat Mountain and into the fog before a rolling descent back into Banks. All-in-all a great way to spend a rainy day in the mud with friends.

Below are a few more images, followed by some tips to keep in mind when you head out there on your own:

Over the Buxton Trestle on the Banks-Vernonia Trail.
Alison and Jay Graves, owners of a timber farm along the route, welcomed riders with homemade cookies and warm coffee. (And yes, that’s the same Alison Graves who used to lead the Community Cycling Center who now leads Cycle Oregon; and that’s the same Jay Graves who used to own the Bike Gallery.)

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Up…
up…
… and way happy to reach the top of Wildcat Mountain.
The muck got pretty thick through Stub Stewart State Park.

What you should know about the Timber Logjam route

– Gabriel Amadeus Tiller

You can join Gabe for an adventure as a guest on one of his legendary guided trips via his company, Limberlost.

Browse more great routes and photos in The Ride archives.

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