Trail Guide: Bend to the Cascades

Adam Craig and Kathy Pruitt road trip Central Oregon to check out new trails in the Willamette National Forest

Bend local Adam Craig recently road-tripped with longtime friend and former pro racer Kathy Pruitt from his high-desert home trails to a stash of rehabbed singletrack on the other side of the mountains, and took us along for the ride. Traveling west, over the Cascades and into the Willamette National Forest, the arid desert landscape transitions into lush forests. It is here that Craig has been working to uncover and rehabilitate trails originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. “The trails have fallen into disrepair as the Forest Service funding has been continually reduced,” says Craig. “We had a big volunteer effort this season to uncover another 50 miles of trails that have been there for 85 years.” With 1,600 volunteer hours throughout the course of the year, the trails are now seeing traffic and riding well. So well, in fact, that they will be host to a Trans-Cascadia Stage Race in late September and are now part of the Oregon Timber Trail, a backcountry mountain bike trail that travels 670 miles from the Columbia River Gorge to California.

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