New mountain biking, hiking trails unveiled in Prineville

Mason Finley, 10, and his father, Garth, ride the trails overlooking Prineville as Central Oregon Trail Alliance hosts a ribbon-cutting to celebrate an addition to the 66 Trail.(Dean Guernsey/Bulletin photos)

Central Oregon is blessed with hundreds of miles of trails, but why stop there? With our population growing, more trails are needed to continue to provide the recreational trail experience our region is famous for.

Hundreds of people — mostly volunteers — are working behind the scenes to plan for the future of our trail system and build new trails once they are approved by land managers. These people work diligently (and often for free) for a variety of local nonprofits and coalitions including the Deschutes Trails Coalition, Central Oregon Trail Alliance, Central Oregon Nordic Club, Central Oregon Running Klub, Oregon Equestrian Trails, Ochoco Trails, Sisters Trail Alliance and many more.

These groups work with land managers including the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, state, counties and cities, to navigate the often-lengthy planning, environmental review and approval process for new trails.

Thanks to their hard work, multiple new trails in Central Oregon are newly completed or under construction. Here’s a roundup of some of my favorites.

Afternoon Delight

This approximately 4.5-mile trail is the newest trail in the Sunriver trail system that has been under construction for the last few years. Afternoon Delight can be accessed from either Bend or Sunriver. It connects Tyler’s Trail, a popular mountain biking trail located off Forest Road 41 (also known as Conklin Road), to the Roundabout Trail, a loop trail near the Cardinal Landing Bridge in Sunriver.

Afternoon Delight is an easy to intermediate trail on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. It will be most popular with mountain bikers; however, it is also open to users on foot.

Stinger and Jackrabbit

These new trails are located on Cline Butte on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. They are accessed from the Cascade View Trailhead via the Blue-Belly Stem and Loop. Stinger (East and West) and Jackrabbit form an approximately 2-mile loop and are rated blue (intermediate). Since they are new, the trails are soft and loose, but the tread should firm up after a season of use.

An outer loop past the Jackrabbit intersection is still under construction and will be rated intermediate or advanced. Once built, this trail will offer amazing mountain views and technical rocky sections.

The new trails are predominantly geared toward mountain bikers and those on foot. Multiple horse trails can be accessed from the same trailhead but are separated from these new trails to minimize user conflicts. Combine them with the Blue-Belly Loop (2.7 miles) and Blue-Belly Stem (1.4 miles) to explore what the Cascade View Trailhead has to offer.

Quadruple Bypass

Quadruple Bypass is a new, approximately 2-mile trail on the canyon rim behind the Facebook data center in Prineville. This trail offers amazing views, often coming close to the canyon rim — keep young children and pets close to you! The trail includes challenging wooden “skinnies” that look like a game of Chutes and Ladders and offer mountain bikers the chance to build technical riding skills.

Quadruple Bypass is part of the 66 Trail System in Prineville, a close-to-town trail network of approximately 8 miles of trail offering a huge variety of riding styles for the size of the trail system. While you’re in the area, make sure to check out Trashalanche, a trail that deserves a spot among Oregon’s top uniquely odd places.

Check them out if you haven’t already.

If you want to say thanks to the people and organizations that made them possible, give back by donating your dollars and volunteering your time and by being friendly and responsible when using our community’s trails. Happy exploring!

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