Last fall, the Forest Service gave Central Oregon Nordic Club approval to proceed with work on about ten miles of new and rerouted ski and snowshoe trails on the Deschutes National Forest. In order to help us accomplish this work, CONC solicited donations from our membership and also applied for a Small Projects Grant through the Deschutes Trails Coalition.
Recently we received word that we have been awarded $7500 from DTC. Combined with about $5000 from donations made by members and about $3000 from trail maintenance funds from our general fund as a part of our regular budget, we are now able to move forward with ordering trail markers, new signs, and the associated posts, hardware etc needed to put in these new trails.
We are starting by focusing on the trails in the Dutchman and Edison areas. At Dutchman, there is a new snowshoe trail planned from the Dutchman Sno-Park that will connect with the existing snowshoe loop to Todd Lake that starts from the Nordic Center. We also are putting in a new crossover ski trail between the Big Meadow trail and Flagline Access, and rerouting the ski trail near Big Meadow to better separate skiers from snowmobile traffic and reduce the need for blue poles to mark the trail. The Water Tower Trail near the water tower is being rerouted to avoid the unsafe (and now defunct!) bridge. We’ll also be putting in new signs at 13 intersections; the new signs will be blue instead of brown, and should be easier to spot in winter…. plus they look downright classy! We will also be updating the online maps as well as the “You Are Here” maps in the field to reflect these changes.
At Edison, sections of the AC and Light Bulb Loop ski trails, and a section of the snowshoe Short Loop trail are being relocated to avoid sensitive wildlife areas; a new snowshoe trail to AC/DC shelter is being added, and a crossover trail to provide a shorter option on the Tesla snowshoe loop is also being added. Again, signs and maps will be updated this year to show the changes.
Next year, we will move on to complete the new trails and reroutes at Swampy and Vista Butte Sno- parks, and we’ll also be doing replacement of older and damaged junction signs at many locations across our trail systems.
A huge thanks to the Deschutes Trails Coalition for providing funding for this work through their Small Grants program, and for their ongoing support of sustainable trails in Central Oregon. You can follow this link to see what other projects in the area that they funded through the Small Grants program this year.