Sandy Ridge Trail System
It’s a story with a perfect ending: mountain-bike enthusiasts and federal agencies get together and create a well-planned, well-designed and well-built trail system that provides nearly year-round, flowing single-track on the lower slopes of Mt. Hood. And now it’s open for you to rip.
The Sandy Ridge trail area brings a welcome resource to the west side of Mt. Hood – it’s an easy drive from Portland, and the trails were all recently built and designed for flow. The trails are low enough on the mountain to stay open about 10 months a year; they’re designed to drain water and hold up to mud.
Fans of the Sandy Ridge trail system will find even more to like after a summer of improvements. This summer, youth crews from the Northwest will put in approximately 15,000 hours of work to build and maintain about six new miles of trails. Crews from Northwest Youth Corps, Ant Farm Youth Corp and the Columbia River Environment Youth Corp will use hand tools to cut in new trail and maintain old trails by clearing debris, improving drainage and working on new features such as berms.
“We’ve had so much use up here, so we’re showing areas with a lot of impact,” said Zach Jarrett, lead outdoor recreation planner for the Bureau of Land Management’s Salem district. The work the youth do this summer will shore up the trails for another season of riding.
The International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) trail solutions team will assist the youth with the projects done by hand and bring in small construction equipment to help with the new trails. The small excavators and bulldozers help build trails at a faster pace and move more dirt with the result of more sustainable trails and larger, more dynamic trail features.
Shane Wilson, trail specialist for IMBA, is leading the youth corps and overseeing the new construction. IMBA has partnered with the Bureau of Land Management to design and construct the Sandy Ridge trail system.
“A lot of people are really excited about this system,” Wilson said. The additional trails will allow riders to spread out over a greater area and enjoy more of the Sandy Ridge terrain.
“When (the riders) come back out this fall, they can expect a trail system that is at least twice as large as it was this spring,” Wilson said.
The new trails will include the Communication Breakdown trail, a quarter-mile route that eases access to the popular Rock Drop Trail. By the end of 2011 Communication Breakdown will extend another two miles. The next new trail, called Quid Pro Flow, will open in mid-August.
In addition to all the new trails going in this summer, this fall the BLM will begin construction of a 27-unit trailhead complete with restrooms, a new perimeter trail for beginners, an information kiosk and a pump track.
Directions: From the east side of Sandy, head east on U.S. Highway 26 (Mount Hood Highway) for 11.4 miles. Turn left on Sleepy Hollow Drive soon after a large sign indicating a left turn for Marmot. NOTE: This will be the second turn-off for Sleepy Hollow. Once on Sleepy Hollow, go 0.3 miles and turn right on E. Barlow Trail Road and over the Sandy River. After 1 mile on E. Barlow Trail Road, look for a gate blocking Homestead Road/2-6E-23 on your left. Trails intersect with the paved Homestead Road north of the gate. Cars do not need a Northwest Forest Pass to park.