Gifford Pinchot National Forest
More than one thousand miles of trails are woven throughout the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, and many are open to mountain bikers.
Old Man Pass Trails: Located in the Wind River area, there's trailhead parking as well as toilets and maps, and the trails are marked. These trails bring you over moderate hills, and run along the middle of 50-foot-wide ski trail corridors woven throughout the Forest. Carpeted with low-growing, native vegetation, these trails offer you a less closed-in experience. Whereas the forest's trees and undergrowth are typically close to you on other trails, the Old Man Pass trails are more open, with a 25-foot clearing on either side. There are no cliffs, so you don't need to be concerned about rockfalls or slides. There are at least six loops from 1 to 13 miles in length. Scenery is typical Cascade forest with several views of distant mountains. Some easy riding over gravel roads is available for completing loops.
For the Best Scenery...
Blue Lake Trail #238: The trailhead is located on Road 81. Winding its way past Blue Lake, the trail leads through an area of majestic old-growth trees. Later it opens with impressive views of the south side of Mount St. Helens. Eventually it drops down to the Toutle River canyon, which was eroded by the eruption's mudflow. The trail connects to a closed road which leads back to the trailhead. The ride can be extended by venturing up towards the mountain. However, at present a loop connection via the Toutle trail is not possible due to a washed-out section of trail. Stay alert for horseback riders and hikers.
High Lakes Area, Randle Ranger District
East Canyon Ridge Trail #265: Only the upper section is recommended for mountain bikes. It starts near Ollalie Lake. The first two miles present a restful ride over smooth, gentle terrain through the forest, with lots of huckleberries (when in season) along the way. This is the easy section of the trail; the trail becomes more difficult after it crosses a small creek and rises to the ridge. There are awe-inspiring views along the edge of a cliff atop the ridge.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication