Here’s a note to the folks who tore up the one-way signs in the Phil’s Trail system.
We don’t know if this was some feeble attempt at protest. But if your chosen method of voicing discontent is destruction, don’t expect it to be listened to.
The directional signs are voluntary anyway. Nobody was going to come along and arrest anyone or cite anyone for going the wrong way. Sure, somebody might say something, but the district rangers aren’t going to write anybody up.
Try making an argument to the Central Oregon Trail Alliance and the Forest Service if there’s something mighty wrong with the directional trails. They are open to suggestions. The directional routes are not fixed.
We think the signs makes sense. They were implemented in April. Ben’s Trail is now an uphill route. Most of Phil’s Trail is downhill. Tyler’s Traverse in the Wanoga trail system is also marked.
With the number of users going up, there’s a greater chance of collisions out there. Directional trails can reduce that risk.
Directional trails can also make it feel as if there are fewer people out riding. Riders don’t have to stop as often to let people pass. It also helps keep the trails from widening and spreading out more into the forest.
The change also only affects about 7 miles of trails. Nothing changed on the hundreds of other miles.
If you have information about who did the vandalism, we encourage you to call the Deschutes National Forest at 541-383-5300 and ask for Capt. Dan Smith. The Central Oregon Trail Alliance has to come up with $400 to replace the signs. It’d be much better if it could be spending that on fixing old trails or building new.