A couple of years ago you would have had to really twist my arm or offer me a serious bribe to get me to ride the Peterson Ridge trail system in Sisters. That trail system was, as far as I was concerned, a mishmash of dusty fairly uninteresting singletrack.
Today, you don't have to ask me twice to ride Peterson. Yes, the original (lower) trails are still there but they've been enhanced and added to with an upper trail network that makes for some interesting loops that range in difficulty from super easy to technical.
This past Saturday while a number of Bend riders were off working on trails in the Wanoga Butte area during COTA's annual Spring Fling, the mountain bike, hike, run and equestrian communities of Sisters gathered to officially dedicate the Peterson Ridge Trail system.
On Sunday, I rode Peterson with a friend who lives in Tumalo and we put together yet another unique and fun loop that went from relaxed rolling terrain to steep climbs, fast swooping downhills and rocky singletrack. It was pure pleasure riding.
A lot of effort went into creating this trail system that is just now getting the attention of more Central Oregon riders. I suspect that after this weekend's race at Peterson, the trail system will see more rider action.
For those planning their first outing to ride Peterson, the main trailhead is just past the City Park on Elm Street. Elm becomes Three Creeks Road heading up into the Cascades just after the trailhead.
If you have any questions regarding the trail system, stop in at Eurosports on Hood Street. Hood runs due west off of Elm.
There are several ways to access the upper portion of the trail system. The easiest one is to take Peterson Ridge Road south off of Highway 20. Heading west towards Sisters, the turn is just before you come to the edge of Sisters Rodeo grounds.
Peterson Ridge Road is dirt. It crosses a paved road and then it goes back on dirt. After several climbs, the road levels out a bit and you can see trail off to either side of the roadway.
From here you can ride the upper loops linking them with lower loops to finish back at your car.
Anyway you ride it, Peterson is worth checking out. It's a tremendous addition to Central Oregon's growing stash of singletrack.
And don't forget there are brews at ride's end at the Three Creeks Brewery which is a short pedal or drive from the main trailhead.