– Distance: ~1.6 miles
– Min/max elev.: 3422’/4367′
– Elev. gain/loss: 994’/-50′
Catwalk is a popular downhill mountain biking trail, but technically it’s a multi-use single track path for use in either direction. Few riders ride up it. Given the number of descending mountain bikers, the recommended direction for hikers and runners is up from the Toothpick Trail and up Catwalk to Four Corners so you can react to oncoming, descending cyclists. Many of these bikers have been shuttled up to Mt Ashland and descend in groups so you may encounter a large group of cyclists followed by none at all. Keep your head up and headphones off so you can respond quickly. The trail has several banked turns and can be dusty in these places. Otherwise, the trail climbs at a steep grade and levels off periodically. The last third on the way up is an old, steep roadbed.
As of this writing, nearby re-routed and more challenging Marty’s trail has attracted increasing downhill bike usage somewhat reducing Catwalk use. Plans are afoot to create a new trail roughly parallel to Catwalk for pedestrian use so traffic may be further distributed and user groups separated.
This trail was initially built by mountain bikers Jed and Eric (last names omitted) in the late 1990s. Initially called ‘Jed and Eric’s trail’, it was unsanctioned, so Jed and Eric decided to change the name to Catwalk. In 2000, Mike Ricketts and others incorporated the trail into the Ashland Watershed Trails Project.
The trail has been re-routed several times, but remains true to its original nature.
Written by Torsten Heycke 05/2/2020