#5: Maryhill Loops Road • 2.7 mi • 680 ft


This isn’t the story of a road, it’s the story of a man: Sam Hill.

"Good roads are more than my hobby, they are my religion," Hill said.

His spiritual reverence is absolutely apparent as you descend the Maryhill Loops, constructed in 1909. His approach to good roadbuilding was to bend the roads across the terrain in a way that maintained easy turns and consistent grades of 3-4%.

The results is a sultry ribbon of smooth tarmac that slowly slithers up the undulations of the grassy gorge—never a tight corner or a steep segment, but never for a moment dull. You can rip into the decent at full speed, lean into one corner after the next, and never so much as touch your brake lever.

It feels inappropriate to yell “wooo” on a road. More of a mountain bike thing. But I “wooo” every time I ride down Maryhill Loops. Oh yeah, there’s one more thing I forgot to mention: the road is CLOSED to cars, so dive-bomb those corners to your heart’s content.

Note that this road is owned by the Maryhill Museum of Art, and available to rent for special events. Otherwise, the road is open to cyclists and pedestrians. Start at the bottom and ride the road as an up-down out-and-back. The portion above the top is private property and in disrepair. Don’t ride it.

David BoernerPaved