“A 7.5-mile loop that travels over some of the area's finest trails.”
— Eric Ashley
The Browns Camp Loop is a beautiful ride traveling through the rolling terrain and vibrant woodlands of the Tillamook State Forest. There are plenty of roots spread throughout, but significant tech is at a minimum. The constant ups-and-downs along narrow, twisting singletrack make this a loop that will test your fitness. Be ready to work for your fun and you'll have a great time.
If you'd like to make a longer loop, the Storey Burn Trail
, Sickter Lars Trail
, bottom of Gales Creek Trail
, and Gales Creek Trail - Gales Creek TH to Summit TH
can be added to this route for a total of 15 miles of pedaling.
Need to Know
The trails in Tillamook State Forest can stay wet and soft in the spring and after heavy rains. Be a good trail steward, and only ride when the trails are dry.
This ride has been called "Browns Camp Loop" for years but the signs and maps for the area all call it the inspiring "Historic Hiking Loop". Remember this when navigating the area for the first few times.
Begin at the Rogers Camp Trailhead, and head south onto Nels Rogers Trail
. As is typical for the area, the trail gets right to the point with a lung-busting, leg-killing climb. Fortunately, the steeps disappear soon after crossing Firebreak One Road.
The next section of trail is rewardingly level as it leads through a charming forest. The grade steepens again before another road crossing, which is followed by a fast-and-steep descent into the clearcut. The grade once again mellows at the edge of the trees as the trail winds down to a creek. Keep left here. Ahead, the forest takes on an especially spooky quality before the trail ends at Beaver Dam Road across from the Wilson River Wagon Road Trail
With a new trail comes a new climb. Wilson River Wagon Road Trail
isn't as punchy, but the climbing continues through dense trees for over a mile. A thinned grove of trees marks the top of the climb, and then it's time to race down the other side (which includes two more road crossings). Expect some modest climbs to add variety to the singletrack. The last segment of this trail parallels, and then eventually pops onto, University Falls Road across from the Gravelle Brothers Trail
Past the parking area, the Gravelle Brothers Trail
begins with a steep, sometimes-slippery descent. Make sure to take the very short spur to the actual University Falls!
From there, the trail alternates between short climbs and descents as riders gradually lose elevation through a picturesque forest of moss, ferns, and alders.
Keep right at the Storey Burn Trail
intersection, and begin a gradual climb. The trail briefly turns to very old doubletrack before ending at the Elliott Creek OHV Trail
just before an ODOT gravel station. This segment of the Elliott Creek OHV Trail
is obvious, as it runs behind concrete barriers. Turn right and then left to connect to Saddle Mountain Road and follow it back to the parking area.
History & Background
The Wilson River Wagon Road Trail
, which makes up a large portion of the ride, follows a portion of a historic toll road which was opened in 1893. Stagecoaches and oxen carts used it as the main route between the towns of Forest Grove and Tillamook.
On the upper reaches of the Gravelle Brothers Trail
, some charred stumps can be seen. These are from the Tillamook Burn, which ravaged what we now know as Tillamook State Forest in the earlier half of the 20th century. Persistent reforestation efforts created much of the forest we now love west of the Portland Metro Area.
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