For some time now, the lower section of the Mrazek Trail as it drops from the Forest Service access road down into Shevlin Park has been in bad shape. Deep ruts had formed in some parts of the trail and chunks of lava had become dangerously exposed as the dirt around them eroded.
That’s changed as one dedicated trail maintenance volunteer (with a few hours help from two other active riders) has transformed the trail. Dangerous rock sections have been made less so with some dirt fill, both sweeping s-curves in the mid portion of the trail have been smoothed out and have steeper banks and the section of the trail where it enters the park has been moved out of what was essentially a drainage ditch and cut into the hillside.
The final tight s-curve coming into the park has been widened and is now easier to ascend and descend. Also note that trail drainage channels that will eliminate future erosion have been created along the whole length of this section of trail.
On the trail addition side of things, a release from COTA regarding new trails in Redmond states: “COTA is in the final stages of approval to begin construction of a trail system on the east side of Redmond. The Redmond Area Parks and Recreation Department (RAPRD) will be overseeing this area of Deschutes County land. The goal is to get approval to begin construction in June and have the first phase completed for the winter riding season.
“The trailhead will be located near the Smith Rock BMX track off NE Negus Way. Initial trail layout has found terrain perfect for mountain biking. There is significant rolling relief, which will make for a fast-and-fun trail, punctuated with the challenges of lava rock outcroppings. The views of Smith Rocks, The Sisters and the surrounding desert are expansive and all this within riding distance of most of Redmond's residents. The trail system is being laid out to attract a wide array of trail users for year-round use and will be yet another standout winter riding destination for all Central Oregonians. Trail construction will be tough due to the rocky soil and hearty desert vegetation.
“The scale of this project is massive – on par with that of the Peterson Ridge Trail expansion in Sisters and The Wanoga network in Bend. This multi-year undertaking will need significant support from the community and will in return provide another recreational asset for Redmond,” the release said.