Traveling up or down I-5? Want a break? Want to ride something?
Here is a scenic little four mile trail with one end at the Depot St. Bridge in Rogue River and the other just beyond the Valley of the Rogue State Park rest area. In between it runs through the meadows below the Valley of the Rogue campground loops, then dives into the brush between the river and the freeway and winds around and up and down to the trail end at the new Depot St. Bridge.
This bit of newly paved trail is the first installment on a long term project - the Rogue River Greenway. The plan is to build a bike trail from Grants Pass to Central Point to join the Bear Creek Greenway in Medford. That would make quite a long destination trail - but assembling the right of way will take years. Meanwhile, head for the Depot St. Bridge in Rogue River and cross over, turn right and enter the...
ROGUE RIVER CITY PARK, GE: 42.430888 -123.171004
Here is the best trailhead. Lots of parking, restrooms, water, tourist information office, picnic tables, river views and - if you have luck - covered parking beneath the bridge with a view of the boat launch (always run to watch).
TB surveyed this trail in several parts owing to the wretched weather that seems to follow him north on the spring migration. One season he spent some time below the bridge making tea while the rains sluiced down on both sides. Too wet to ride. The next season he got in a ride from the bridge up into the park campground. The following season he surveyed down from the eastern trailhead to connect the dots.
If the weather is with you, ride out from under the bridge, cross over it and turn left. You will make a downhill loop to the dedication plaza and then on to some dry under-bridge viewing of the river and trailhead on the far shore. On the near shore is a stump carved into a pair of salmon. Ride on.
The trail enters a twisty section through the woods that climbs and falls for a bit over a mile. It then exits the woods and enters the meadows of the Valley of the Rogue State Park. Here are wide views of the valley. What you don’t get are views of the river. Too much brush in the way. There is a ped trail that goes along the river edge in the park if you are hunting river views.
The trail passes under the western most campground loops, then turned away from the river to head for the park road by the freeway. Here begins the bike lane bit. There is a quarter mile of bike lane and then the trail heads for the river again, passing under A loop and around the end of…
VALLEY OF THE ROGUE REST AREA, GE: 42.411997 -123.128298
Here is your eastern trailhead – the rest area. Plenty of parking, picnic tables, restrooms, water, shade – but no overhead cover. The trail crosses the access road to the east of the parking area. It then circles below the freeway bridges, crosses the highway and ends just short of the RR tracks. Ride done. Now you can retrace your route to the bridge.
Searching for dry riding weather in the NorthWet.