GO HERE: That Mountain Bike Needs Some Action – Three Rides in the Rogue Region
With the early winter rains, the trails for mountain biking have soften a bit, and now is a good time to explore the rolling hills and terrain within an easy drive. Highly recommended is heading to the Briggs Valley by Grants Pass. The area features several classic singletrack trails with big climbs and big descents. Most trails—Taylor Creek, Briggs Creek, Dutchy Creek, and Minnow Creek—can be accessed from Briggs Valley Road. The 10 mile Taylor Creek trail includes a four mile stretch (from Lone Tree Pass to Sam Brown campground) that flows like none other. Aptly named the Jedi section, this naturally flowy trail through big tree forests rarely requires one to brake or pedal—rather just to use the Force.
For fun yet challenging winter riding, you can’t beat the Ashland Watershed trails. The decomposed granite drains water well and is almost never muddy. Some trails, like BTI, are even best right after a rain, adding grip and confidence. The trails are smooth, fairly fast, and great for all levels. Although when the trails dry they become like kitty litter on a hardwood floor, upping the difficulty level. Many of the trails are easily accessed from Lithia Park. From the park, expect at least 3 miles of climbing on a smooth dirt road to get to BTI, Alice, White Rabbit, Lizard, and Caterpillar trails.
The Sterling Mine Ditch trail is a terrific trail if you are looking for a calm singletrack ride with great views of the snowy Siskiyou Mountains on a warm south facing slope. This historic mining ditch narrowly winds along chaparral hillside above the Little Applegate river valley. The trail is well maintained, but look out for poison oak hanging over the trail. Access the ditch from the Little Applegate Road or Sterling Creek Road.