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Riding on the Iron Horse State Park Trail

This is an 82-mile gravel and original ballast trail (will be 113 miles when completed) with endpoints at North Bend and Vantage. It has the potential of being a fantastic trail; however, the short portion we rode was extremely rough and rocky. We were there on a "too" day -- it was too hot, too dusty and the trail was too rocky.

Don't let this discourage you from riding it if you are traveling through the area. If we have the opportunity, we'll certainly ride it again. After all, we saw only a couple of miles of this very long trail; we may have happened on an unusually rough section. It's the kind of trail we like. The area is remote enough to allow the feeling of being away from the hassle of everyday life, there are beautiful sights that you couldn't see from the highway -- this trail will be great someday.

Additional information: An e-mail message from Tony and Pat Sowers, who live in Oregon, said: "We rode a few miles of (the Iron Horse Trail) on the East side of the cascades on the original ballast (round rocks). It was doable, particularly if you stay in the previous track of others (about 12 inches wide). Speed is limited by the rough surface, in spite of suspension.

Later in the trip, we got onto it at the summit of the Cascades, rode West through a two mile tunnel, and down the grade to the Seattle environs. It was rough through the tunnel and for about half the distance, then the ballast shifted to crushed rock and became much more pleasant. Being a railroad grade, and going downhill, none of it was particularly challenging and it was a tour through beautiful mountains with NO cars!"

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