New trails don’t exactly pop up every day, let alone purpose-built singletrack in the heart of the Columbia Gorge. This two-mile loop retools vacant Port of Cascade Locks riverfront property into a fun-packed, beginner-friendly ride complete with bermed descents, flowing dips, rock-strewn beaches, and elevated river views. The loop configuration makes it easy to stack up the miles, and the varied terrain and sharp turns keep interest levels (and stabilizer muscles) firing. Watch for enormous bald eagles harnessing the breeze. And there’s more to look forward to: port officials recently completed a feasibility study for the Cascade Locks International Mountain Bike Trail (a.k.a. “Climb”), a 26-mile stretch of singletrack that one day may link Cascade Locks and Wyeth State Park to the east of town.
DON’T FORGET: To net a bit more downhill, many riders prefer to ride counterclockwise. Such explorations begin at the southeast corner of the parking area, near the firepit. For a clockwise tour, start on the oak-dotted knoll at the north side of the lot. At press time, the trail is not signed but is easy to spot.
POST-RIDE WATERING HOLE: Locals swear by the old-school, made-to-order burgers and the velvety smooth ice cream cones at the ’60s-era East Wind Drive-In on Cascade Locks’ main drag. If you crave beer, duck into the Pacific Crest Pub, where nine taps await. 500 Wanapa St, Cascade Locks; 541-374-9310; open Wed–Sun; pacificcrestpub.com
TRAILHEAD DIRECTIONS: From Portland, take I-84 to Cascade Locks, exit 44. Drive .8 miles through town and turn left on NW Forest Lane. Continue 1.8 miles, and turn left on Cramblett Way. Continue straight a short distance on the gravel road. At the Y, head right toward the large, unpaved parking area. No fees or permits required.