Restoration Work near Phil's Trail area
Popular mountain biking trails will be temporarily closed.
You may have noticed some activity in the forests west of Bend. Restoration work (thinning, mowing, and prescribed burning) near the Phil's Trail area aims to put the forest on a trajectory to grow healthier trees, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce the risk of high-severity wildfire. In order to keep bikers, hikers, dogs, kids, and logging operators safe, some trails are temporarily closed while this important work is being done.
Updated: June 14, 2021
Contractors have been hard at work and have successfully completed road improvements on Forest Service Roads (FSR) 4610 and 4601-300 and those roads are now open for all uses.
Road improvements on FSR 4601-310, 320, and 322 roads are not completed, and those roads remain closed to all users (motorized/non-motorized/cyclists). Road improvements include drainage, road shaping, and the addition of cinder to the road surface. These road improvements are part of Euro Stewardship Project within the West Bend Project area.
Ongoing Temporary Closures
Earlier this year, contractors began selective logging in the Euro Stewardship contract area. They will also use large mowers to reduce the height of flammable understory fuels such as brush and small trees, which decreases the potential impacts of a wildfire.
Trails closed Monday – Friday (see map below):
- Lower Whoops Trail
- Pine Drops Trail
- EXT Trail
- Storm King Trail – The northwest portion of the trail where it junctions with FSR 4615 and the junction with Phil’s Trail
- Phil’s Trail - The western-most portion; between the junction with EXT trail (near FSR 300) and its western terminus at the junction with Pine Drops, Upper and Lower Whoops, and Skyliners trails.
PLEASE OBEY SIGNAGE: The Forest Service had attempted to keep nearby roads open to recreation users but due to frequent encounters between bike riders and construction and logging equipment, these roads will now be closed to all uses seven days a week.
- FS Roads 4601-310, 320 and 322 are CLOSED 7 days a week to motorized use due to road conditions not being suitable for vehicle traffic until all reconstruction is completed.
- All roads will reopen to the public once road reconstruction is completed.
Your cooperation with these temporary closures will mean the contractors can work safely and more efficiently, ultimately resulting in the trails being reopened sooner.
Please use caution!
- Operators working on large equipment cutting and moving trees in the unit cannot see people walking or riding through the area and may not be able to prevent an accident. Mowing can cause debris to hurl over 500 feet from the equipment.
- Given these safety hazards, the Forest Service has implemented area closures, which remain in effect Monday – Friday.
- This is a great opportunity to check out some of our other nearby trails, including Horse Butte, Horse Ridge, Cline Buttes area (Maston, Juniper, Tumalo Canals – Between Tumalo and Eagle Crest), Peterson Ridge (Sisters), Radlands (Redmond), Lower 66 (Prineville) and Grey Butte/Skull Hollow (Smith Rock) We've compiled a general list of alternate trails HERE
What will it look like in a few months to a year?
- Over the next year, visitors will see the effects of tree felling and removal. There will be slash piles, orange-painted trees, and trail closures, all of which will be announced as soon as possible. Visitors will also see a forest with better views and longer sight distances. Check out our recent story, "Why is paint on the trees a good thing for mountain bikers?"
- In the long term, visitors can expect to see a more open forest, with bigger trees. More importantly, we all will experience a more resilient forest that offers a lower risk of extreme wildfire.
- Why is this restoration so important? Learn more about Restoring Our Forests.
The Euro Stewardship contract area is one portion of the 26,000-acre West Bend Project within the Deschutes National Forest and is located within the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration boundary.
The West Bend Project was developed in collaboration with our Steering Committee, the Deschutes National Forest, and a number of community stakeholders including COTA, BendTrails, City of Bend, and Deschutes County. We have worked together from the very beginning of designing, through planning, and now to implementation. The West Bend Project is designed to restore forest ecosystems, creating a diversity of plant and wildlife habitat, reduce the risk to our community from high severity wildfire, and provide economic and social benefits to our local community.