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Prineville's 66 Trail System expands

Lovers of hiking and mountain biking now have more room to play

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Lovers of hiking and mountain biking now have more room to play in Prineville. In 2015, the Crook County Chapter of the Central Oregon Trail Alliance proposed an expansion of the Lower 66 Trail System—which at that time consisted of 2.3 miles of hiking and biking trails on Oregon State Parks property.

The 66 Trail System, set to be complete by this fall or next spring, will offer about 20 miles of trail access to people in Prineville. - TIMOTHY PARK PHOTO & VIDEO
  • Timothy Park Photo & Video
  • The 66 Trail System, set to be complete by this fall or next spring, will offer about 20 miles of trail access to people in Prineville.

On Oct. 1, the expansion of the trail network—now called the 66 Trail System—became a reality, with a ribbon cutting for two new trails on the south side of Highway 126, on land managed by Crook County. Two new trails can be accessed by both cyclists and walkers—including a flat, 1.8-mile (one-way) trail that people with strollers can access.

Another portion of the 66 Trail System north of Hwy. 126 is under construction now and is scheduled to open in late fall 2019 or early spring 2020. That new section will include a 5-mile (one-way) single-track trail for bikers that follows a cliff rim, as well as a parallel trail for hikers and runners. Two bike skills pods will also be part of that upcoming section. When the project is done, the trail system will include 20 miles of trail.

Getting to the new Upper 66 parking area can be tricky:

- At the roundabout on Hwy. 126 west of Prineville, turn right on Tom McCall Rd.

- Left on SW High Desert Drive; follow until it makes a sharp right turning into SW Baldwin Rd.

- Just before the turn, go into the exit for the Apple data center and take an immediate left onto the gravel road.

- Follow gravel road to the end where you will find the trailhead sign.

TIMOTHY PARK PHOTO & VIDEO
  • Timothy Park Photo & Video

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. (Blame her for everything since then.) Favorite car: A Trek commuter bike. Favorite cat: An adopted dog who looks like a Jedi master. Favorite things, besides responding to your comments: Downton Abbey re-runs, Aretha Franklin albums, and pink wine.

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