Mainly single track, following the Walla Walla river. The trail is a mix of rich loam, and river rock. Exceptionally beautiful in all seasons, and often rideable even in the winter because of its low elevation. It can be technical in parts and is not ideal for a beginner, though not impossible. The trail is rough and suspension (front and rear) is a definite advantage. There are many optional side trails as well. You can follow the main trail all the way to the head waters of the Walla Walla river (I've been told), but that would take some overnight camping (not officially allowed). More do-able options include taking the "Bear Creek" trail, about five miles up from the trail head. It is clearly marked. This trail is for serious climbers only--an unrelenting climb with 5 or so technically challenging stream crossings. The view at the top is worth it though. This point is called "Cub Saddle," with the remains of a "piper cub" airplane wreck being a notable landmark. For the hard core rider (usually I turn around at this point), you can continue your climb, on two different trail: either the "North Fork," or another one I don't know the name of. (There is pretty much an unending network of trails here, they're just hard to get to.)
Another option from the main trail is a branch off to the right several miles above the turn off for "Bear Creek." This is called Burn Cabin. This trail, though with a mild beginning, has some technical parts, but more challenging, is its unrelentling climb up the canyon walls. (It is much better to start at the other end of Burnt Cabin and ride down to the South Fork.) Again, the beauty is astounding on this option.
From milton-freewater: heading south (towards Pendleton) on Main St., just before you leave town, take the last left turn before you head up the hill on the way to Pendleton. The turn is marked with signs for HARRIS PARK (brown signs.) Follow signs to the park. Keep driving past the park, past the camp sights, off the paved road onto a pot-holed dirt road, over a bridge and you're at the trail head. Pit toilets and plenty of parking available.
Summary: Although I've lived in Walla Walla for a couple of years now, today was the first time I rode this trail and it was sweeeet! Excellent rocky singletrack, loam, stream crossings, and moderately technical sections. Rode it on my 29'er hard-tail about 9 miles before turning around and bombing back down. Very scenic. Only encountered 2 equestrians, and one hiker.
Recommended Route: Turned right onto an unnamed trail where Bear Creek goes left for several miles. wanted to explore more but figured an 18 mile round trip was enough for one day. I'll be back!
Other recommended trails in the same area: A couple of loops around Bennington lake is mild but close. Too dusty in mid summer though, not to mention millions of goatheads!
Actually called the South Fork of the Walla Walla river trail, #3225.
Same as the trail reviewed under the Oregon page under the name: South Fork of the Walla Walla river trail.
Recommended Route: I like doing an out and back. Go up maybe 10 miles then turn around and bomb back down! Don't turn off unless you want to really get into a long climb. Following this trail has some moderate climbs but nothing sustained. That doesn't mean that it's a cake walk, you need to have your game face on or you'll be walking.
Other recommended trails in the same area: I have also ridden the Table Springs trail and the North Fork Walla Walla river trail. These trails can be hooked up with this one by taking the Bear Creek Trail #3223, which climbs up moderately steeply crossing the creek many times and eventually crests the Cub Saddle. This is an excellent trail and highly recommended!
Also rode the very bottom of the Burnt Cabin trail - just until it started to switchback and climb steeply.
Summary: This is my first time on a trail other then a maybe five mile, well maintained loop around Bennington Lake. I really enjoyed it, though it is very rocky and at times was too steep and rocky for me to ride, so I walked part of it. I saw a total of four people on the trail, two hikers with a dog, a hiker alone, and a person on a motorcycle. In about five miles my dad and I climbed about a thousand feet. The trail was sometimes pretty narrow and slippery with runoff going into the river, and at other times very wide, dry and smooth. I do have to say that the drive in is very long(13 miles from Main St. in Milton-Freewater), but it is definately worth it.
Recommended Route: I went only five miles, the third bridge I crossed, but the trail goes further and splits off to the left to go up on Table Springs Trail and to a small plane wreckage on Cub Saddle. Table Springs Trail rises 1400 ft in 2.3 miles, but as I have not been on that trail yet, I couldn't tell you what it is really like.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Bennington Lake/ Mill Creek run is very good for beginners or if you are looking for a quick mountain biking experience in the evening. It is my usual route, and i do longer and further away trail rides on the weekends.
Summary: Great trail close to home. Better for full-suspension bikes. Great Views, right on the walla walla river. Few hills on the way up, not bad. Great ride down.
Recommended Route: Ride on up about six miles turn around and enjoy.
Review Date August 16, 2003
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Aerobic Difficulty 4 of 5
Technical Difficulty 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a month
Visitors rate this review 5.00 of 5,
Reviewed by: lww76
, from College Place, WA
Summary: This is a great system of trails! From the S. Fork of the Walla Walla River trail head (Harris Park) you have access to 6 different trails at 50+ miles. Keep your eyes open though, this is a multi-use trail system and you will often encounter foot, horse, mountain bike, and motorcycle traffic.
Recommended Route: Have someone drive you to the top and let gravity take you down to Harris Park or do an up and back on the S. F. trail. To access the trails from the top take Mill Creek Rd. out of Walla Walla to Tiger Canyon Rd. The S. F. trail is just off this rd. Yellow Jacket and N. F. trails are accessed from F. S. Rd. 6512
Other recommended trails in the same area: South Fork of the Walla Walla River - 20-25 mi.
Bear Creek - 2.5 mi.
Yellow Jacket - 3.5
North Fork of the Walla Walla River - 15-20 mi.
Burnt Cabin - approx. 4 mi.
Mottet - approx. 2 mi.