Lately, I've just been riding out past Bald Hill, and out to the Oak Creek. From there I can enter McDonald Forest and ride a little loop that takes me about half an hour (600 to 6020 to Upwards to 680 back down 600). But now that it's after April 15th, I can fly down Extendo. Here's a pic of what the trail looks like - I didn't take the picture, and I have no idea who the person in it is.
Extendo has got to be my favorite trail in the Corvallis area. Granted, I've only been on a handful of the illeglal trails in McDonald Forest, but it's just a perfect combination of technical riding with speed. You've got windy single track, with some steep downs, and large tree roots liberally sprinkled in to make it interesting. Like a lot of the forest, there are large sections of trees where the only underbrush is grass - which is just amazing to bike through. Imagine, dark trunks extending 40-50' in the air, bright green grass 2 feet tall, and a slim trail weaving through it all like a snake.
Dan's trail is almost as pretty, and offers a less technical ride, though it is a bit faster. However, due to the storms this winter, there are tons of downed trees on Dan's trail, and they're
The best beginner trails around are on Bald Hill, they're short, interesting, and even closer to home. I can get there in 10 minutes on my bike (as opposed to 20 minutes to Oak Creek). There are three single-track trails up to the top, plus a horse trail, and a little (hiker only) trail connecting two of the single-track trails. Additionally, just past the farms to the north of the hill is yet another single track trail that is a nice out-and-back. None of the trails are very steep, they're in the range of .5-1.5 miles long, but they're windy enough to be interesting to the more advanced riders. The only drawback is that poison oak runs rampant on Bald hill. And just recently I found another small set of trails that connect (via gravel roads) to the Bald Hill roads. I'll explore them soon.
I think I'm ready to head out with the group that leaves from Cyclotopia on Tues/Thurs at 6pm. They ride long and hard - you generally don't get home until 9 or 9:30, and since it is usually dark at that point, you need to bring a light. They're the ones that introduced me to the illegal trails, and after a few more rides I might get the courage do to them alone. The biggest problem is getting lost because all of a sudden you're dumped out onto a logging road you've never seen before. Well, that and the fact that they ride like little banshees, and I get tired trying to keep up.