Local equestrians have ridden for decades on the Carpenter Bypass trails located south of Eugene, Oregon. So, when the BLM gave a mountain biking group permission to develop an exclusive bike trail system here, the equestrians were stunned. They didn’t take the news lying down, however, 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!
Easy to moderate trails
18+ miles of riding
Elevations 800 to 1,350 feet
The Carpenter Bypass Trails run up and down moderate-sized hills, taking you through dense, shady forest and through open forest with little undergrowth. From several vantage points, you’ll enjoy panoramic views across clear-cut expanses. Many loops are possible, so have fun exploring these delightful trails!
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.)
From I-5 south of Eugene, take Exit 182 for Creswell. At the stoplight, turn right on Oregon Ave. After 10 blocks, the road name changes to Camas Swale Road. Drive 12 miles (the road name changes again to Hamm Road), and when the road ends at a T-junction with Territorial Road, turn left. In 3.4 miles, you’ll enter Lorane. Directly across from the deli, turn right on Siuslaw Road. In 1.4 miles, just past milepost 43, turn left on Carpenter Bypass Road. Continue 0.8 mile to the Pile Trailhead, named for the large piles of gravel stored at the trailhead.
More information about the Carpenter Bypass Trails can be found in Riding Northwest Oregon Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2017), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.