BEND, Ore. - The Central Oregon Trail Alliance and the Deschutes National Forest said Thursday they are implementing directional trail routes with the goal of improving trail users' experience on forest trails west of Bend.
?Directional use or one-way routes on select trails will begin April 5, 2014 on portions of the Phil's Trail and Wanoga Trail systems and will include the following trails:
Ben's/Phil's Loop: All of Ben's Trail will be uphill only from the trailhead to Road 300. Phil's Trail will be downhill only from Junction #18 (at Kent's Trail) to the trailhead.
Tyler's Traverse: One way routes primarily will be downhill.
The Deschutes National Forest and COTA, a mountain biking advocacy group, are implementing the directional trails system to improve the recreational experience of all trail users.
"I think it's a good idea, it will definitely eliminate some traffic issues out and back," rider Jeremy Black said Friday.
"Seems like going one direction on parts of the trail eliminates some of the traffic congestion," rider Phillip Chi said.
COTA and forest officials said the new system will:
- Increase safety- by reducing user collisions.
- Reduce user conflict - by reducing high-speed passing of walkers and runners.
- Provide better continuity – by reducing stopping to allow others to pass.
- Increase the feeling of solitude - Even in high usage areas, directional trails have the ability to make it seem like there are fewer people on the trails.
- Help to "keep single track single" - Trails will be less impacted by users riding off-trail to pass each other going in opposite directions.
- Allow for more challenging mountain bike rides - Directional trails allow riders to challenge themselves with fewer interruptions or reduced user conflict.
"Directional trails have been discussed in these areas for several years, and we are pleased to work with the Forest Service to implement this change," said Woody Starr, COTA chairman.
"With a growing population and tourism base, trails are seeing increasing usage," Starr added. "We expect this initiative will maintain and enhance experiences for all users."
"We are glad to work with COTA to improve recreational experiences on the trails," said Bend-Fort Rock District Ranger Kevin Larkin. "COTA and the Forest Service will continue to listen to recreationists on ways to provide positive experiences on our trails into the future."
COTA representatives and Deschutes National Forest employees will be at the Phil's Trailhead April 5th and 6th to explain the changes and answer questions.
For additional information, visit the COTA website at www.cotamtb.com.