For decades, local equestrians have ridden on the Carpenter Bypass trails located south of Eugene, Oregon. So, the equestrians were stunned when the BLM gave a mountain biking group permission to develop an exclusive bike trail system here. However, they didn’t take the news lying down and fought hard to retain access to the trails and forest roads they had ridden for years. BLM relented, and the result is an enlarged 18-mile trail system that is open to both bikes and horses. And the trails are fabulous!
Riding Safely with Mountain Bikes
Because the Carpenter Bypass terrain is hilly and the trails are popular with mountain bikers, you’ll often find yourself at the bottom of a hill where a cyclist might be speeding downhill above you. To keep yourself safe, local riders recommend carrying a whistle and blowing it occasionally as you are riding up or down a hill to let cyclists above you know you’re there. It works like a charm. (Of course, you’ll want to accustom your horse to your whistle first.)
The best place to park is the Pile Trailhead, which features parking for several horse trailers. Though it doesn't have a sign, it's easy to spot because its perimeter is often used as a storage area for piles of gravel.
More information about the Carpenter Bypass Trails can be found in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails by Kim McCarrel, available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.