When it comes to custom made downhill trails with jumps, ramps and other skill testing features, you can't beat the Northwest part of the United States. Oregon and Washington have some of the best manmade downhill trails in the country. The natural terrain makes the area perfect for mountain biking of different types even though the rain can make it a little muddy at times. Just west of Salem Oregon near Falls City is an area called Black Rock where you can have the time of your life riding some great downhill trails designed for downhill mountain bikers.
The trails consist of natural obstacles such as rock gardens and roots to make your way over. Then there are the manmade berms, ramps and jumps which are the highlight of the trails. For the most part you can ride around any of the bigger features if you don't feel comfortable riding or jumping over them. There is even a basic training area made up of smaller jumps and drops where you can practice your skills or warm up before hitting the bigger stuff.
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Black Rock Review
Black Rock is a very well thought out and built area that you can ride all day long. One of the best parts about the trail system is that once you find a trail you can do it over and over and never get bored because they go on for quite some distance. You can even cross over to a different trail during your run since many of them intersect the fire road in several places on the way down. The trails are very well planned and flow nicely. They offer action at almost every part of the trail so you are always doing something or getting ready for the next bit of fun.
Getting to the top of the mountain can be a bit of work depending on your bike. If you have an all mountain type bike are in good shape then you should be able to ride up it but then again you may not have the right type of bike for the more advanced trails. If you do have a more free ride or downhill type bike then you most likely will be pushing it up the trail which will take some time. You may find yourself only having the energy to do 3 or 4 runs before getting too tired. That is where the shuttle day comes into play. The shuttle will run you $45 for one day or $65 for 2 days with a 100 person limit so when they have them make sure to sign up early. You can find more information on the BRMBA (Black Rock Mountain Bike Association) website.
Overall Black Rock is a great place to ride and build your skills. Even if you don't have too much experience there should be a trail for you. You can even spend a bit of time at the basic training section and that will help out your skill level quite a bit. It is recommended that you use a bike made for these kinds of trails so you don't end up hurting yourself or breaking your bike. You should also be sure to wear the right type of protection such as a full face helmet and pads.
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Directions to the Black Rock bike park
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Getting to Black Rock is a bit of a drive depending on where you are coming from. Even if you are close to Salem OR it's still pretty far off of the freeway. So get yourself on Interstate 5 towards Salem and then use these directions taken from the BRMBA website.
- From I5, take exit 258 (North Salem / Fairgrounds / Amphitheater)
- Turn Southwest onto Portland RD
- Continue on Portland RD to Marion Street (follow signs for "Dallas / Ocean Beaches")
- Turn onto Marion Street heading West to reach OR-22 WEST (you'll leave town over Marion Street bridge)
- Continue on OR-22 West to Dallas (approx. 9 miles from Salem)
- Turn left off OR-22, continue on Ellendale AVE (follow Kings Valley / Falls City signs)
- In Dallas, bear left onto MAIN ST (you'll see sign for OR-223 SOUTH)
- Turn right onto FAIRVIEW AVE - which becomes OR-223 South - follow out of town
- Continue on OR-223 South to Falls City RD (approx. 9 miles from Dallas)
- Turn right onto Falls City RD, continue to Falls City
In Falls City
- Continue west on main road through town
- Bear right before bridge onto Mitchell (do not cross bridge)
- Continue up short hill, Turn left onto dirt road and mark your odometer
- Follow river about 3 miles, DRIVE CAREFULLY - this is Black Rock Road and used for logging operations
- Turn right just past "Camp Tapawingo" sign
- Continue 250 yards, crossing over a bridge and then park at small area to the right
- Do not drive past the gate even if it is open
- You'll see wooden Black Rock Trail sign and you are there