Closest Towns: Eugene(1 Hr), Roseburg(1 Hr)
Ride Format: Out and Back, Shuttle, or possible loops with roads
Trail Style: Backcountry Trail.
Giggle Rating: **
Technical difficulty: Moderate.
Physical Difficulty: Difficult
Ideal Bike: Trail bike that climbs steeps well.
Wet Conditions: Good, but can be snowed in.
Overview: Feel like getting off the regular circuit of trails? Are flow, railing, jumping and other of the finer traits of mountain biking getting you down? Want a bit of an adventure, but don’t want to get too far from a bailout? Fine…try this rig, but don’t blame me if it seems a little bit lonely up there on that ridge.
The Bohemia National Recreation Trail has a grand name that suggests lots of cars in the parking lot, but alas…popularity is not something this line is currently burdened with. That said, there is considerable charm…dare TDM say cuteness to be had here among some large trees high on a ridge. The trail was originally built around 1865 as a wagon route to the Bohemia mines, and after climbing the first few miles you will feel pretty sorry for the mules/ponies who had to drag some lazy miner’s ass up this thing; it’s a bit steep in places. Once up top, the rad forest, mature Rhodadendrons, and several really funky shelters aid in boosting the spirits, and despite a bit of hiking on the steeper loos bits, TDM feels that this trail does have some appeal. To summarize this summary, it is no classic, but if you like a random ridge trail now and then, appreciate a bit of history, and don’t mind some short, steep pitches, this might be a good one to check out sometime when another lap on Alpine or the Umpqua is just sounding a bit too normal today.
Pros: Isolated and uncrowded…you won’t see a soul. The two shelters are really cool. There are some views, but nothing amazing, despite the great location. This ride is located near some great swimming holes as well….check out Canton Creek! The nearby road allows you to access the trail at a variety of points, and provides convenient access to loops or shuttles. There is a good amount of descending on the back half of the ride, but unfortunately it lacks a ton of character.
Cons: If this were truly backcountry, TDM might be raving about the cool ridge this thing follows, but the road that follows nearby keeps killing the vibe, despite some nice areas that feel a bit more remote than they are. The trail is loose in places, though trail maintenance seems pretty good as of 2015.
Need to Know: This trail could be shuttled, and in fact that might be a great way to sample it Prepare to hike some of the steeper parts…more from looseness than outright steepness, but there is some of that too. Some maps show a trail running along Canton Creeek and up onto Canton Point. TDM found this trail, but also must report that it is no longer maintained…a sad state of affairs, because the 2 miles he rode were an awesome descent…that then completely disappeared into the brush and downed logs, forcing a death march back up the hill. Don’t fall for it, but what a line it was!
Recommended Route Options
- Lollipop time! ~16 miles, 3600 feet gained (1.5-5 hours). The simplest way to do this is to start on Forest Road 23 at the trail head, and climb the steep lower portion, continuing to hop on the trail at each opportunity until it’s end at Shane Saddle. Now you can either reverse the route, or turn right on road 2358 when you reach Shane Saddle and follow this back to Canton Point, picking up the trail at the Canton Point trailhead and then descending back to your car. TDM actually really enjoyed this road, as the views are pretty good.
- Shuttle time! ~8 miles, and around 1000 ft (?) of climbing. Drive to Shane Saddle, then ride the ridge back to the SW to the Road 23 Trailhead. There is still plenty of climbing, but overall this would be much easier than the other way.
- Epic Time! (count on at least 25 miles & 5000 ft of climbing) This could be linked to any number of other trails/roads/mines in the area. Look at a map, pick a swimming hole to start/end at, and start climbing!
Links, Maps & Media