North Umpqua Trail (The NUT)
Revered as one of the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s Epic Rides, the North Umpqua trail system sits near the southern terminus of the mighty Cascade Range and features dramatic Pacific Northwest riding. Start at Swiftwater Park and pedal east up into the mountains on the 16-mile stretch of the Tioga Trail, passing over many bridges as you wend your way through thick, old-growth Douglas Fir forests. Some of the trees are more than six feet in diameter.
A short, easier stretch on the Mott Trail brings you down near the North Umpqua River, where salmon and steelhead can be seen migrating from June to October. From there, jump onto the Panther Trail, which features many spectacular and exposed faces high above the riverbed. You’ve now reached the mid-point, and it’s decision time. Either turn around and gain a new perspective on the Panther Trail, or veer onto the Riverview Trail – either way will get you toward home.
For the truly hardy, the complete North Umpqua trail totals 79 miles in length, divided into segments of no more than 16 miles. It rises to the spine of the Cascade Range, where it connects with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.
Trailhead: The North Umpqua Trail is located approximately 12 miles east of Roseburg in the Umpqua National Forest.
Elevation: 2,500-4,500 feet
Terrain: Mostly single-track over rolling terrain in old-growth forest
Season: Year-round. Snow may be encountered at higher elevations in winter months; floods can knock out bridges and sections of trail.
For more on IMBA’s Epic Rides: www.imba.com/epics