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USFS reducing West Bend area closure next week


Next Monday, the Deschutes National Forest will reduce the area closure in effect near Phil’s Trailhead in West Bend, the scene of a forest restoration project, officials said Friday

The area closure, which once covered nearly 27 miles of trails now includes just over eight, lifting the restrictions on several popular mountain biking trails including Phil’s, KGB, The Lair and others, officials said Monday.

The reduced area closure remains in effect from 4 a.m. Mondays through 5 p.m. Fridays. All trails are open on weekends and major holidays.

Forest officials said they were able to reduce the closure on the trails sooner than anticipated due to the efficiency of the contractor working in the area.

However, forest restoration work continues near a one-mile portion of the COD that is open but within the closure, and the public should to be aware that large equipment could still be working in the area.

All commercial thinning work between Skyliners Road and Cascade Lakes Highway and east of Storm King trail is slated to be completed by October, or sooner if possible. As work is completed and areas are safe to enter, the closure will continue to be reduced in size, officials said.

The public is reminded that operators are working with large equipment, cutting and moving trees within the closure. These operators are focused on their work and cannot see people or dogs in the area, and may not be able to prevent an accident, the agency warned.

The mastication process can hurl woody debris over 500 feet from equipment and presents a danger to the public within the closure areas. The public is asked to respect all signed closures for their safety as well as the safety of others.

While the closure is in place Mondays through Fridays, the public is encouraged to ride in other areas, including the Wanoga area trails, Swampy area trails, Skyliner area trails, Mt Bachelor Bike Park, Mrazek Trail through Tumalo Falls and/or Shevlin Park, Newberry Caldera and later next month Swamp Wells Trails and Ochoco area trails.

The Forest Service encourages visitors to KNOW BEFORE YOU GO by bookmarking its interactive map:

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