There is still snow on the upper half of the trail. The lower half is in good shape and open for riding, hiking and running.
We recommend starting at Trailbridge, taking the trail 2 miles up up to Blue Pool and then returning to complete the trail to the bottom.
As a reminder, at Blue Pool, a new ‘Bike only’ trail keeps hikers and bikers separated – which makes riding the MRT a fantastic experience again! (When the Blue Pool section got popular with hikers it was horrible to ride through this section with the high number of hikers. Not anymore!)
McKenzie River Trail Continues to Change and Evolve
Over the last few years we have seen many changes – a few fires have hit part of the trail resulting in restoration work and changes to some bridge and water crossings.
Tamolitch Blue Pool section of the trail went viral on teh internet – helping others discover what was a hidden gem. in 2020, the Forest Service created a new separate bike trail section to separate the hikers and the bikers – restoring the epic ride experience that was impacted by that over crowded section of shared trail.
Deer Creek where it connected with the MRT was hit by a fire in 2021. It took out teh bridge that crossed Deer Creek. Since then, Deer Creek has seen a major restoration effort to restore natural fish habitat
If you were out here before you may have already thought it was in a natural state – however the river was channelized back in the day (made deeper and narrower to accommodate roads). The restoration work make it shallower and wider too help create fish nesting grounds, with boulders, downed trees and tree root balls helping to create slow pools for nesting. It’s quite fascinating if you care about hat stuff. The Restoration Story of Deer Creek
It looks like a complete mess right after the work was completed. However, when the native vegetation recovers in the work area, it will provide a fantastic support system for the life that feeds and supports the health of the river.
The bridge has been replaced by a large limbed log to hike or bike over. The river is shallow enough much of the time to cross other ways as well. The Forest Service may put a better crossing in the future.
The McKenzie River Trail is mostly the same gorgeous and recharging experience as it always has been, yet now it shows show scars of recent fires – yet the cool thing about that is when yo come visit again, you can watch the forest healing and recovering itself from what is a natural cycle of a healthy forest.