The first day of spring tuned out not only to be a glorious one weather-wise but also one that proved a good news day for two local mountain bike areas on BLM lands-Horse Ridge and The Maston Allotment.
First to how the good news was delivered. Coordinated by Eric of Trinity Cycles in Redmond and COTA trail building and maintenance maven Chris Kratsch, a work party was organized to work this past Saturday at the Maston Allotment. When the thirty volunteers gathered for a pre-work safety session, they were greeted by BLM partnership coordinator Greg Currie who led off his remarks with the announcement that the new trailhead parking area at Horse Ridge was near completion and would be opened later this week.
Currie has a set of photos posted on a board showing the new lot and he indicated that further additions would include two concrete picnic tables.
The announcement came as a surprise to most of the volunteers many of whom have been led to believe that nothing would be done at Horse Ridge until the BLM's Cline Buttes recreation plan had been completely implemented.
Obviously completed well under the radar, the Horse Ridge trailhead is now a reality and for those new to riding there it's located about a quarter mile west of where people now park along the roadway.
The parking lot is situated close to the bottom of the San Canyon road/trail. A new trail links the new lot to the present-day trail starting point.
Following that news, the volunteers got the word that, thanks to the stimulus funds that allowed work to proceed at Horse Ridge, work was going to heat up on the Maston.
Included in that work will be a new trailhead parking area just west of the current informal trailhead. The trailhead will include plenty of parking and quick, easy access to the singletrack trail.
Also going up soon is fencing that will run from the corner of Newcomb Road and the Cline Falls Highway to the new trailhead and beyond all the way to private land close to the rim of the Deschutes River Canyon.
Further fencing will be installed along Cline Falls Highway.
A new, smaller, trailhead will be constructed at the red cinder road off the Cline Falls Highway and that road will be closed to motorized travel.
Ambitious plans indeed but ones that will turn the Maston area into a first class mountain bike, hike and equestrian destination.
Between now and the completion of the proposed trailhead parking lot and the fencing, Saturday's work crew accomplished much including, installing directional signs on the trail, installing trailhead signage that informs people that target shooting is prohibited and what uses are permitted, and clearing the new trailhead area of years of garbage, litter and target shooting debris.
The latter job looked pretty straightforward until those collecting the garbage and started running into old garbage dumps packed with rusted cans and yard-upon-yard of old barb and chicken wire.Meanwhile, across the highway, Jim Karn and a crew of four pulled a truckload of trash just off the top of Cline Buttes.
Considering the long neglect of the Cline Buttes and the Maston Allotment, Saturday's efforts were the first major step in a significant change to both areas.