Sunday, September 18, 2011

Biking Oregon's OC&E Woods Line State Trail

At 105 miles, the OC&E Woods Line State Trail is Oregon’s longest trail.  It follows the right-of-way of the Oregon, California, and Eastern Railway. Construction began in 1917 and by 1923 the line ran from Klamath Falls to the Sprague River, and six years later reached Bly. Logging camps and spur railroads followed and the trains often carried a million board feet of pine logs to the four mills each day!
Two railroads, the Southern Pacific and Great Northern/Burlington Northern jointly operated the line from 1925 to 1974 when Weyerhauser took over operations until the late ‘80s.  In 1992, Oregon Parks and Recreation took over.

Starting at Washburn Way in Klamath Falls, the trail is now paved to Olene about mile post 8.5. 

I parked at the Highway 39 parking lot and biked to mile 14, passing through agricultural land and seeing cattle and other livestock, sagebrush, and juniper, returned, and then biked through the residential area to the start of the trail (seen below.)  I did 28 miles (14 out and back) but there are about 90 miles miles I didn’t cover!

These cute rest benches dot the trail...

After crossing Highway 39, you leave the city section and hit rural, agricultural land with vistas of mountains in the distance...

At Olene, the trail becomes dirt/gravel combination suitable for mountain and hybrid bikes, walkers and runners, equestrians, and cross country skiers. At Olene, the trail is really rough for a few hundred feet, but persevere because it gets a bit better. Though seemingly rough, out of the 140+ trails I’ve biked over the years, I’ve been on many trails in far worse shape, usually trails that get high snowmobile use in the winter, which isn’t allowed here. You’ll pass through cattle gates with signs that direct you to close them behind you. 

Olene also offers a small store if you are in need of refreshment.

Just past Olene you’ll see this unusual sight -- the canal and flume of the Klamath Reclamation Project crosses over the Lost River on a bridge!  I’ve only seen that once before back in Illinois where a river crosses the Illinois & Michigan Canal Trail.

Parking is available at the start, south of 6th/Hwy 39, along Crosby between Washburn Way and Altamont, and also along Wiard Park between Kane and Wiard.  Another lot is located where the trail crosses Hwy 39 on the east end of town. Click to enlarge map...

1 comment:

Johann said...

Nice work. Thank you for the information. My wife and I will be riding the O C & E perhaps in November.