If you live in the Portland/Salem area and you’re looking for a great place to ride in winter, look no further than the Huckleberry Trail in the Molalla River Corridor. This trail is actually an old logging road that explores a beautiful hillside above the Molalla River. Its gravel tread provides excellent all-weather footing as it runs through a dense forest of Douglas-fir, western red cedar, big-leaf maple, alder, vine maple, dogwood, and ferns.
The Molalla River Corridor has other trails in addition to the Huckleberry Trail, of course, but only the Huckleberry Trail is open year round. The other trails, all very nice single-track with many loop possibilities, are closed from October to May to prevent damage to the trails in wet weather. All of the trails allow horses, hikers, and mountain bikes.
The Huckleberry Trail begins at the Hardy Creek Trailhead, located about 11 miles southeast of Molalla. From the west side of the trailhead parking lot, pick up the gravel road that runs up the hill. Follow it 0.3 mile to a junction where Looney’s Trail goes to the right and the Huckleberry Trail goes to the left. Turn left on the Huckleberry Trail. The trail gently gains elevation for the first 1.5 miles, then levels out for the next several miles.
Annie’s Cabin is a local landmark on the Huckleberry Trail about 2.3 miles from the trailhead. This one-room shelter was used by Annie Miller, Jim Williams, and Annie’s daughter Squirrel in the early 1990s while they worked as volunteers on the trails nearby. The family lived in a trailer parked next to the cabin, which functioned as their living room. You’ll find a picnic table outside the cabin, and good views out over the surrounding hills and down to the river from nearby vantage points. The cabin is a nice spot for a lunch break.
Beyond Annie’s Cabin, the trail continues along the ridge above the river, slowly gaining another couple of hundred feet of elevation before gradually descending toward the river about 10 miles from the trailhead.
Ride Statistics: It’s a 5.5-mile round trip to Annie’s Cabin, with elevations ranging from 700 to 1,100 feet. If you continue beyond the cabin, the Huckleberry Trail’s maximum elevation is 1,500 feet. Stock water is available on the trail.
Getting to Hardy Creek Trailhead: From Molalla, follow Hwy. 211 east. On the edge of town, turn right on Mathias Road. In 0.3 mile the road turns sharply left and becomes Feyrer Park Rd. In 1.7 miles it crosses the Molalla River at Feyrer Park and ends at a “T” intersection. Turn right on Dickie Prairie Road and continue another 5.4 miles to the Glen Avon bridge. The bridge is on your right just past a 20 mph right turn and just before a Dead End sign. Turn right to cross the bridge and continue south 3.5 miles on the Molalla Forest Road to the Hardy Creek Trailhead on the right.
Trailhead Facilities: The Hardy Creek Trailhead has a toilet and room for 6-10 trailers. No fee.