It’s May! Spring is in the air, and we’re winding down our winter mode for ski trail maintenance. Although there’s plenty of snow out there (still 7 feet at Dutchman!! ), most skiers are moving into springtime activities and fewer folks are out on the trails. We are now done collecting the blue poles that mark the trails in the Dutchman area and have cached them for the season. Another great ski and snowshoe year is on the books!
It’s been quite a year for trail work (check out the photo album!). The list of what we’ve done is pretty impressive: we have completed the new and re-routed snowshoe and ski trail work in the Dutchman area and hung new signs; we have a new snowshoe trail and have completed re-routing of both snowshoe and ski trails at Edison in order to give wide berth to sensitive wildlife areas; we have completed re-route of the Beginners trail at Swampy to make the trail easier for beginner skiers; we’ve done the preliminary work for two new ski trails in the Swampy trail system, and have a plan in place for re-routing the north Swede loop to get the trail junction with the Swampy Loop in a better location. The snowshoe folks have also changed the route of the trail from Meissner to the Nordeen shelter to reduce the steepness of the grade, making it a more enjoyable experience for shoers.
And…there’s more coming. This summer we will add a new snowshoe trail up Vista Butte, and also will complete a new segment of snowshoe trail that will bypass the steepest part of the east Porcupine Loop. We will install around 50 new signs on the ski and snowshoe trails at the Edison, Swampy and Vista trails. And if that’s not enough, we’ll be replacing the trailhead ladder boards at Dutchman, the Common Corridor, and Swampy trailheads. We’re improving the information at trailheads and trying to make the signage more consistent at all trailheads, so people are better informed about what to expect in their outdoor experience.
All this work wouldn’t happen without the dedicated volunteers who show up week after week to help us maintain trails. Also, a HUGE thank you to Deschutes Trails Coalition, who has funded trail markers and signage for our newly added trails, and to Visit Bend and the Bend Sustainability Fund for supporting the trailhead improvements and new ladder boards. It’s great to see we have support to keep our trails in shape for years to come.
Contributed by Sue Sullivan