Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on April 4th, 2013 at 5:45 pm
It's a great sign of progress when there's enough mountain biking news for a roundup. In Portland and in hills in almost every direction there are plans afoot to improve and expand off-road riding opportunities.
We are very fortunate around here to have some excellent and hard-working mountain bike advocacy groups. Those groups and their volunteers have been busy building trails and relationships with land managers that make it possible for all of us to have a great ride.
Below are a few updates on what they've been working on...
Progress and a milestone at Stub Stewart State Park
I rode my mountain bike at Stub Stewart for the first time last weekend. At just 31 miles from Portland, this is a one of the closest places in the region to ride good singletrack (if you don't want to drive, it makes a great ride and/or you can MAX all the way to Hillsboro!). Currently Stub has over 15 miles of natural surface trails that are open to mountain biking. And after this weekend it's going to get even better.
Advocacy groups and volunteers have been building bike-specific trails at the park for years and this weekend they expect to reach a major milestone. A work party is planned to put the finishing touches on the Linkpin trail that will connect two already built trail systems to its north and south. See the map below (Linkpin is in blue):
The new trail will add another 2.5 miles of singletrack made specifically with mountain biking in mind. The Northwest Trail Alliance is planning a big "golden spike" event on Saturday (4/6) to celebrate the trail's completion. Meet at the park at 9:00 am to help dig the last few yards! More info at NW-Trail.org.
Update on the River View Natural Area
The City of Portland purchased the 146 acre River View property back in May 2012. As I've shared in the past, River View holds vast potential for off-road bicycling. Last week, Portland Parks & Recreation put out a request for proposals to begin the planning work for the property. I asked PP&R Project Manager Emily Roth for more info.
Roth said they are embarking on the River View Natural Area Habitat Management, Recreation & Trail Plan. As part of that effort, Parks "will be examining the location and uses of soft surface trails in the natural area." While she didn't promise anything in terms of mountain bike access, she did note that, "Mountain bike use will be part of the analysis and discussion by the technical and project advisory committees." Those committee will have representation from people who are interested in mountain biking and Roth said they've already been contacted by the Northwest Trail Alliance. They will select the committee at the end of May. Stay tuned for more info on this exciting project.
Sandy Ridge Trail System in the running for major grant
The awesome Sandy Ridge Trail System is up for a major grant from Bell Helmets. Sandy Ridge was selected as one of 12 finalists nationwide back in February to be considered for $100,000 in grants. One component of the selection process is a public vote via Bell's Facebook page.
Check out the new Sandy Ridge video below featuring North Portland resident and Bell-sponsored rider Matthew Slaven:
If selected, the NW Trail Alliance would work with the Bureau of Land Management to build a 2.2 mile trail with downhill-specific features. The trail would be a double black diamond route for advanced riders and it will be constructed using youth from the local community. Sandy Ridge currently trails a few percentage points behind a trail project in Michigan for the lead in public voting. Voting is open until April 12th and winners will be announced on April 19th. Get over there and vote!
I hope this is just the start of a regular mountain biking news roundup. If you have tips about other projects or trails in the works, drop me a line.