Little Switzerland Loop

This was my first post when I started this site 4.5 years ago, so I apologize for the pictures. I dug it up and brushed it off. To this day a quality route, that starts and ends in Sandy Oregon. It’s simple, but goes down some fun country roads with great views plus testing climbs. I kept the images of the original article but edited the text a little. Enjoy!

A great mountain area 35mile ride with spectacular views of mt.hood and superb rolling countryside.  A couple of short climbs, one at the beginning and one mid way.


35miles , 2500ft ascent
Water stop at mile 16.
Car free for 60%.
Rolling with a few punch climbs
1 Highway crossing


Starting at the Ant Farm in Sandy Oregon, (the Ant Farm brews a great coffee to start your ride). The Ant Farm is a local spot that supports the outdoor community and cyclists. Abundant parking opportunities nearby make this a  great meet spot for you and your friends.

For last minute bike needs, fortunately, there is a bike shop nearby Sandy Bicycle shop (closed Sundays) is just across the road for tyres, tubes and any last minute items. (update I dont think this exists as of Dec 2020)

Starting the ride: From the Ant Farm you head east and turn LEFT onto SE Ten Eyck Rd. Ten Eyck is a windy steep road that descends sharply and then steeply climbs a little (400ft) before turning at about mile 3 onto Shipley Rd.
UPDATE: This road can be busy especially Sat mornings, but you will likely be descending faster than cars so take the whole lane and enjoy it. It crosses Revenue Bridge which is really pretty in the summer.

View from Revenue Bridge (above)

barlow fall

Shipley Rd is a beautiful little single lane road that weaves up at a mild grade through the trees. This is one of my favourite roads at any time of the year.


Shipley then joins Marmot Rd, where you continue on for the next 10miles over rolling terrain with a countryside vibe, past some sheep, a prize pig farm and a Christmas tree lots combined with amazing views of the south hills of Estacada and clear views of Mount Hood.


After the rollers and toward the end of Marmot the road opens out into a valley setting with the backdrop of mt.hood, with pastures, a few red barns, and mountains in the background give this area the nick name Little Switzerland. Stop around here and soak it in.

When you get to E Barlow Trail Road (mile 14) you will turn LEFT. But a quick jog right / few hundred feet here you will see a beautiful view over Sandy river.

Following Barlow Trail Road for a few miles, you are retracing the original steps Sam Barlow and Phillip Foster in 1846 as part of the Barlow Trail.

After passing  the well-known mountain biking spot Sandy Ridge you will turn RIGHT onto Brightwood Br Rd, cross a small bridge and you are in the single stop sign town of Brightwood. Here you will find a small country store on the right should you need anything or across the road the Brightwood Tavern should you need beer and burgers at mile 16!

From here you double back for a little to avoid some highway… but eventually you will on the highway (mile point19.4) At this point, we are turning RIGHT and a little locked to this route because a lot of the roads don’t connect around here to avoid the highway, so yes unfortunatley you will be riding alongside the highway for approx 2 miles heading West. Its not that bad and worth the sacrifice in my mind.

At mile 21.1 turn RIGHT onto Cherryville Rd. This is a sneakaround, where you will pass by a little old tugboat at the side of the road! at Mile 23.4  the stop sign you will turn RIGHT onto the highway again to pedal about a mile.

The next turn needs a word of caution. at mile 25 on the other side of the road is McCabe, it looks as if it heads back east, Depending on the time of your ride, traffic can vary so be careful when crossing the highway onto McCabe Rd.

Now on the South side of the highway 26, McCabe waves around, and has a little kicker climb 8% grade with some beautiful views off to the left.  (watch out for the dog at the top of the hill, he’s normally tied up) – At mile 27 McCabe turns into Pugh, but you probably won’t notice, it curves and transitions. Pugh is soooooo much fun, fast rollers in the country.

At the end of this road you will see a fire station. If you are in need of water, snek round the back and find the faucet.

We turn Right onto Firwood Rd and After a punchy little up you will turn aleft on the corner onto Bornsted rd.
Hwy 211 takes you back into Sandy close to where you started. For a great after ride snack, there are two places. The first Ant Farm where you started, they have great sandwiches, there is also Sparky’s Pizza which has slices.

UPDATE 2020, scratch on Mountain Moka, a few years ago it changed hands and is rubbish coffee with costco grade snacks.

With close to zero traffic I often combine these roads with other routes as the views are so great. You can start this ride in Sandy or in ZigZag either way makes for a great loop.

See my downloadable GPS route here:

If you want to add on another 10-15 miles, instead of turning right on Firwood, turn left and go down Wildcat Mtn, then make your way back to Sandy. Wildcat mt is full of fun rollers to race your mates on.

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