Rising Tide

Morgan Sollers (foreground) and Nate
Speer (background) wheel in the good
stuff for some final touches before the
official opening of Moflow.

Rising Tide Coastal Oregon's Trailbuilding Surge

The Oregon Coast is known as a guarded place. Spend enough time there and you will realize it’s protected because it’s so special.

The Pacific Ocean delivers constant swell to beautiful beaches while verdant forests cover endless ridge-lines. Mix in sand dunes, pristine rivers, maritime culture and deep indigenous roots, and it’s truly a beautiful anomaly.

For mountain bikers, though, it has a noticeable lack of trails. The North Coast Trail Alliance (NCTA)—a subchapter of Northwest Trail Alliance—led by President Steve Blakesley and Vice President Chris Quackenbush and backed by many volunteers, is actively changing that with the Klootchy Creek Trails. The NCTA saw how well a curated trail network was received in Oakridge, Oregon, a small community outside of Eugene, and felt Seaside could be a destination trail experience in a place tourists don’t associate with mountain biking. As it turns out, a network of trails on the coast has a lot of advantages other areas in Oregon do not.

“I think Klootchy has a ton of potential,” says Morgan Sollers, a local trailbuilder, “and the ability to ride from the top of the mountain to the beach gives a distinct allure. The weather is great for building year round, where other nearby places get too dry in summer, or snow-covered in winter. We are able to throw dirt throughout every season.” In late 2018, the NCTA solidified an agreement with private land owner Greenwood Resources that resulted in 9,000 acres of dedicated shared-use land five miles south of Seaside. In July 2019, they opened six miles of singletrack at Klootchy and are now tackling another 40 miles.

For the last two years, Quackenbush and others have been flagging trails and lines with a master trailbuilder—although the heavy lifting began in December 2018, when Sollers, Nate Speer, Kyle Hofseth and Todd Rowley started building the Greenwood trail. In a matter of eight months, the first phase of trails had been cut and shaped largely by the four men. Sollers invested $17,000 in machinery and has missed more than 1,000 hours of work, an example of his passion for and dedication to making trails he and the community want to ride.

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The “showtime berms” mark the end of Moflow
and were named because of their clear line of
sight to the main access road. Speer leads Sollers
as the duo enjoy the fruits of their labor while
putting on a show for passing logging trucks.