Tucked into a valley about an hour south of Medford, Ore., the Wagner Creek Trail System boasts more than 65 miles of trail, 18 of which were designed with mountain bikes in mind. The layout lets you rocket down steep, twisty descents, then join up with wide, mellow forest service roads for the ascent back up. This area is still a bit off the radar, but its pristine forest, thoughtful trail-building, and proximity to nearby Ashland and Medford make it a hidden gem well worth a visit.
This compact network of trails offers dozens of route options. Here are some local favorites.
Expect steep switchbacks, big features, and a freeride style on this black-diamond trail. At the bottom, loop back to your car via forest service road NF-2040.
This fun, intermediate line starts near the end of the Wagner Creek Road. Follow it down via flowy turns and steep switchbacks, then either circle back via FS-2040, or continue down the Middle Earth Trail and use Wagner Gap Road to ascend.
This intermediate-level line starts near the end of FS-2040, rolling downhill along a gentle contour to a short but steep set of switchbacks. It ultimately connects to the Middle Earth Trail, and shares the same ascent routes.