Seaside’s natural landscapes are settings for all kinds of two-wheeled adventures, including challenging rides on logging roads in the surrounding hills. And going forward, the mountain biking scene is going to get even cooler thanks to the development of new trail systems — a big project lovingly spearheaded by volunteers.
“We often think a visit to the Oregon Coast is just going to the beach,” says Steven Blakesley, president of the North Coast Trail Alliance (NCTA) and a mountain bike enthusiast. “But the natural beauty of this area is exceptional, and these new trails will provide greater access and more opportunities to get out and play.”
Where the trails start
Situated along U.S. Route 26 about 5 miles southeast of Seaside, Klootchy Creek Park is the access point for the primary group of new trails. The park nearly had been forgotten after its signature Sitka spruce — an Oregon Heritage Tree — fell in a 2007 winter storm. While the park will serve as a staging area, the trails themselves are being built on private land owned by Lewis & Clark Timberlands and managed by GreenWood Resources. Much of the coming 40 miles of trails have been completed, thanks to the work of volunteers and a forest clearing crew paid for by GreenWood.
“The biggest challenge, in terms of building, has been dealing with three generations of stumps and the drainages,” says Blakesley.
Bike trails built for everyone
The trails are designed for all ages and skill levels. Blakesley says the NCTA is deliberately trying to create a family-friendly environment. For safety reasons, the trails will be single use — meaning they’ll be reserved for mountain biking only. However, NCTA also is building a trail that links Seaside with Klootchy Creek Park in addition to some cross-country trails which will be open to hikers and trail runners.
NCTA aims to have the final 15 miles of trails done by 2026.
Help bring the dream to life
The Seaside Tourism Advisory Committee awarded $4,400 to the program for trail development in 2019. You can help make this dreamy system of trails a reality, too: NCTA is seeking financial support for the project from the community and visiting bikers, with hopes of raising $500,000 for trail construction. You can also volunteer your time at working trail events. Check out the alliance’s website to find out how you can donate and pitch in.
Once complete, the new system will draw new riders to the Seaside area and help establish the city as a favorite mountain biking destination, Blakesley believes.
“The Klootchy Creek Trails will be a total game changer,” he promises.