According to Mountain Bike Action Magazine, Bend, Oregon is considered the Best Mountain Bike Town in the U.S. This is in large part because the Central Oregon Trail Alliance maintains over 700 miles of trails in the Central Oregon area. That’s more trail than many riders will be able to cover in a lifetime!
From beginners to experienced downhill dirt-jumpers, Bend’s devotion to maintaining its trails ensure that anyone can enjoy their seemingly countless open trails. Here are five of the top trails in the Bend area!
- McKenzie River Trail (MRT)
Having been called “North America’s best single-track,” there’s no wonder MRT finds its way onto this list. Although the track is nearly an hour and a half from Bend, the unique combination of lush temperate rain forest, magma rock, grand waterfalls, lava fields, and the beautiful ‘Blue Pool’ will make the drive more than worth it for any biker.
MRT is fit for bikers of all skill levels and knowing this can help you determine where to park. The upper part of the trail is more technically challenging, while the lower half is much more mellow and smooth. Regardless of which trailhead you start at, you will need to plan your route in advance since a round trip is a nearly 26 miles. If your party has two vehicles, you can cut the trip in half for a more manageable adventure. Or you can find several shuttle services in Bend, Siters, and Belknap Springs.
- Smith Rock Summit Trail Loop
A 36-minute commute from Bend, the elegant Crooked River and towering cliffs make Smith Rock State Park a popular destination among bikers and hikers. After you reach the notch on Burma Road when riding the trail, there are views of some incredible peaks. To the northwest is the magnificent Mt. Hood—Oregon’s highest mountain. To the west are the Three Sisters. Don’t forget to purchase a $5 day-use parking pass at one of the three fee stations!
- The Peterson Ridge Trail System (PRT)
Beginning just beyond Three Creeks Brewing, ride along the wide ‘Five Pines Acres Trail’ to reach the PRT—a beautiful trail just outside Sisters, Oregon. The PRT is a great trail for non-expert mountain bikers, as It has an extensive network of easy to intermediate desert trails. It also doesn’t require a major time commitment, because the ladder-like shape of the trail allows you to traverse across one of the many ‘rungs’ and take the other end of the trail back to your car. Plus, it just under a 30-minute drive from Bend!
- Tiddlywanks Mountain Biking Trail
Tiddlywinks is a popular two-way mountain biking trail in the heart of the Deschutes National Forest in Bend. With a little bit of cross-country riding, a short climb, steep downhill, and some technical riding, Tiddlywinks is an intermediate to experienced mountain biker’s dream. In the middle section of the trail, there are even man-made berms and tabletop jumps. If you’re feeling courageous and want to isolate the downhill experience of the trail, check out the popular trailhead called “Greens Gate.” Tiddlywinks connects to three different trails—Funner Trail, Strom King Trail, and the C.O.D. Trail.
- Suttle Tie and Loop Mountain Biking Trail
A popular ride for the whole family, the beautiful Tie Trail connects to Suttle Lake—a 253-acre pool of bright blue, surrounded by mixed conifer forest. Along the trail to the Suttle Lake Loop, you will feel fully immersed in nature. There are stunning pine trees, lush plant life, and vibrant flowers. The lake loop itself is popular among bikers and hikers, and you will pass several campgrounds, docks, and bridges.