This was my first trail ever and still my favorite trail in the Bend area! However, I may not recommend this trail for total newbies since it is technically an intermediate (blue) trail and all downhill. To do this trail I would highly recommend having both front and rear suspension since there are some bumps you may take at a high speed. I was a little scared at first, but once I got into the groove and started using my biking instincts, it started to get incredibly fun. I picked up the pace and was finding myself leaning around corners and heavily peddling up some rocky sections.
To get to this trail, you will have to go up gravel, one-lane road past Tumalo falls. Once you get up there it is all downhill from there, about 13 miles to Shevlin Park. Of course, if you want to do the uphill too, knock yourself out, just know it is intense.
The trail is mostly the typical central Oregon woods, but there is a part of the trail that totally changes the scenery. There seems to have been a fire a little while back so you are just riding through bushes (picture featured above). Further, there is a sudden change in tree-type and shrubbery when you make it down to the river. You can just feel the moisture and heavy forest cover, this is definitely the most scenic part of the trail as it goes directly along the river. Once you get to the trail sign that says Shevlin Park Loop, take the right side. It leads you uphill to a New Mexico-like area, definitely prettier and funnier than going left or straight.
There are a few very rocky parts of the trail that are difficult to peddle up so I decided to walk my bike up them. Watch out for bikers behind you since they may want to keep their momentum to try and go up the rocks themselves. During the dry summer, there can be patched of dust/very fine silt that your tire may get caught up in, so make sure to watch out for the turns, especially in a steep and sharp decline.
On a final note, when you reach a fork in the trail, about halfway down, make sure to take the black diamond instead of the blue section. There are awesome banked turns that launch you around them, if you want some more adrenaline, go with this section for sure.