Astoria, Oregon lies at the northwest corner of Oregon, tucked in along the Columbia River to the north and Youngs Bay to the South. A port town, it features a storied history, being the oldest city in the state of Oregon and the site of the first American settlement west of the Rockies. Though the town lies against forested green space and has become popular as a tourist destination it lacks the single track systems that make similar towns like Bend so popular with the outdoor recreation community.
Much of my evolution as a mountain biker took place in my home town of Astoria. The first bike shop I ever worked at was Bikes and Beyond, located in the heart of downtown, and I would lead a weekly after-work ride from the shop. Riding up to the Astoria Column, we’d drop into the trails there, starting on the Cathedral Tree Trail, then cut over onto moto trails on a variety of loops on logging roads and roughly hewn in trail.
We used to look forward to visiting with family friend Norman Wentworth, a local rider that was well known in the mountain bike community for a network of trails we all referred to as “Norm’s Trails.” Norm had built a system of trails solo, and by hand, starting right out the door of his home at the end of Claremont Road, about 7 miles east of town.
Unfortunately, in 2009 most of the local single track was buried under fallen trees after one of the biggest storms in the last decade. Most of the trails were left unrideable for years. The small trail system is a short jaunt from our family’s property, so we’re able to ride from the house. When we reviewed the storm damage in 2010, seeing the aftermath was a depressing affair with the trails essentially buried under fallen trees. Norm hasn’t lived in the area for some time and without his dedication to the trails, they’ve never been reeastablished.
It’s been a few years and many of the fallen trees have been harvested. There’s potential to restore some of this trail network, it would just need some motivated riders. We’ve been thinking about it a lot and next spring our goal is to get to know the logging roads and moto trails again in order to take inventory and put together some loops for some connectivity. I’ve already ridden some nice gravel routes, but I’ve never attempted to map them…
2013 Recreational Trails Plan: City of Astoria, OR
There appears to be forward movement, though we haven’t seen anything actually happening. A recreational trails master plan was developed for the area with the document published in 2013. view it here.
This document identifies several possible staging areas for parking with potential for signage and wayfinding.
- 1800 Williamsport Road
- Emerald Heights
- Mill Creek Road
- Pipeline Road
Gnat Creek Trails, Knappa
Fort Steven State Park
We documented these rides in a post in 2019. You can view it here.
Klootchy Creek Trails, Seaside
Volunteers from the North Coast Trails Alliance have been developing a network of single track destination trails just out of Seaside. Read more here.
Northrup Creek Horse Camp, Clatskanie
It’s been years since we’ve explored these trails, but there is a network of multi-use single track trails popular with equestrians that may be worth exploring.
<note: post edited 11/2/09>
<Updated again 11/11/20>
We used to ride a really fun network of gravity trails hidden in the woods on private timberland in Knappa. They were super fun DH trails, but when the gates were locked a few years ago, they became overgrown from a lack of use, as the access road to the top was steep. Assuming the trails were brought back, they would be a fun time for anyone that owned an eMTB.