Mountain Biking Central Oregon In Winter

Posted on in category Biking

Central Oregon Mountain Biking in Winter can be open and good, you just need to know when and where to go. Important in knowing when is understanding the freeze thaw cycle. It’s really really important to maintaining our trails. Central Oregon Trail Alliance is our local organization that conducts trail maintenance, implements signage, and works with other agencies to manage and designate our trail systems. In their New Year’s letter they explain why it’s so important to NOT RIDE when it’s muddy. Below is an excerpt of the letter. MORE INFO HERE.

From Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA)

Why do we talk about freeze/thaw conditions every year? Because of the moderate winters we have here, the soils in our region are susceptible to serious deterioration when ridden while wet or soggy. Moisture in the dirt freezes at night, but as we know, frozen water expands, making our normally compacted trail surfaces swell. Mild, warmer day temps cause the dirt/ice suspension to thaw into mud – lots of mud. Fully saturated trails are vulnerable to damage in the form of ruts, widening (‘riding around puddles’), and eventual erosion. And because our high desert soils don’t have a lot of organic material, they will dry into hardpack. Please be respectful of all the hard work that went into making these trails great. Ride when they are frozen or dry only. This includes areas east of Bend, such as Horse Butte and Horse Ridge, as well as Maston to the north.

This is a great time to check out the new trails in Madras, which hold up to winter weather well, and include some fun, wood-built features and jump lines.

Winter Riding Options

Bundle up and get out there! Find winter riding options on BendTrails or TrailForks. Remember to ride dry or frozen trails only.

Bend area:

Wanoga Winter trails for fatbikes only

Horse Butte, Horse Ridge

Lower Phil’s network and forest roads

Crook County area:

66 network

Madras area:

East Hills

Redmond area:

Trails at Cascade View (Eagle Crest), Maston, Cline Butte and Radlands areas

This year will look different on so many fronts, including ours. January 4th starts a new era for COTA, as we welcome our first Executive Director, Emmy Andrews. This also marks our first paid staff position. Since 1992 we have been a 100% volunteer organization, and we’ve gotten so much accomplished! But now with Emmy’s full-time, dedicated efforts, COTA is excited and ready for our next phase of growth.

This is a great time to become a member, renew your membership, or sign up to help out. We can’t do it without you.