Two Wheels: Iron Horse Trail

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This week’s adventure was on two wheels! Our journey was not very long (it’s been a while since I was on a bike, plus I am kind of a wimp), about 12 miles out and back. We started at Olallie State Park, and made our way out to about the Carter Creek Campsite before turning around and coming back. We might go farther next time, or even go camping there! It was a sunny day, and we took plenty of photos.


Iron Horse Trail is also called the John Wayne trail, and it is an old railway. It went from Washington to Chicago – a beautiful journey over rickety trestles spanning green rivers, cutting through mountains and over plains. Now there are over 100 miles of bike trails, with hiking along the way, picnic tables, and beautiful views.

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What you can expect:

A bit of a bumpy ride! This ride is pretty flat, so don’t worry too much about wearing yourself out if you’re not quite up to biking huge climbs. However, this trail is not suitable for racing or road bikes (unless you get some cushier tires, which is what I did instead of renting a mountain bike). And if you’re not quite confident in your ability to keep yourself upright (here’s looking at you, kindergarteners!) it’s probably not a great trail to start on. It’s mostly loose gravel, with some potholes whose severity depends on the time of year.

Fairly frequent facilities. Every three or so miles there was a little bathroom along the trail – you know, port-a-potty holes, with hand sanitizer provided. There are also camping spots (which are on the map) and picnic tables (which are not on the map) for stopping and taking a lunch break.

Plenty of photo ops. If, by chance, you are taking a photo/bike excursion, there are many gorgeous mountain views, little trailside waterfalls, creeks, flowers, and craggy rocks to take snaps of.

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