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BLM proposes establishing official trail system at ‘well-loved’ Horse Ridge Recreation Area

BLM proposes formal trail system at Horse Ridge, improvements (full map below)
BLM proposes formal trail system at Horse Ridge, improvements (full map below)

Improvements at popular mtn. biking area would include expanded parking, toilets at two trailheads

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Bureau of Land Management opened a 30-day public scoping period Friday to seek input on the Horse Ridge Recreational Area Non-Motorized Project, an effort to establish an official trail system at the popular mountain biking area, about 13 miles southeast of Bend.  

The primary draw to the Horse Ridge Recreation Area is mountain biking in the southern half of the HRRA, where Horse Ridge itself is located. Currently, there are over 50 miles of user-created, non-motorized trails traversing the ridge. The HRRA lacks a formally designated trail system.

The BLM is proposing to establish an official trail system and may enhance existing trails, build new trails, and close other trails. The agency also proposes the expansion of the two parking areas that provide access to the HRRA and the Horse Ridge and Big Sagebrush Trailheads as well as the addition of American with Disabilities Act accessible toilets at both trailheads.

Other new infrastructure could include handicap parking spaces, a paved route from the handicap parking space to the toilet, and picnic tables. The project would also protect the Horse Ridge Research Natural Area, which is a designated National Natural Landmark (1968).

“The Horse Ridge Recreation Area is already well-loved,” said Lisa Clark, BLM Deschutes Field Office manager. “We just need to make sure the use and development of the official trail system provides the high-quality recreation experience that our visitors expect, while preserving and protecting habitat and the Horse Ridge Research Natural Area.”

The BLM said the purpose of this notice is to provide the public with an opportunity to share any comments or ideas they may have about how this area should or should not be developed. The BLM is in the scoping phase of the analysis, which means that any comments received will be used to refine the proposed action, identify issues for further analysis, and develop alternatives.

If you have comments, please send them to the BLM by March 13, 2024. Additional information on the proposal is posted on BLM’s ePlanning website:  

Comments can be submitted in hard copy, through email, through the BLM’s online platform ePlanning, or by calling the BLM. The details for each commenting method are listed below.

Hard copy: Lisa Clark, Deschutes Field Manager at 3050 NE Third Street; Prineville, OR 97754
Telephone: (541) 416-4634

Comments are most useful if they are specific to the actions proposed, provide additional information about the project area, or identify issues or concerns with the proposal. There will be another public comment period on the environmental assessment before the BLM issues a decision.  

Please be aware comments, including your personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, it is not guaranteed.  

For additional information, please contact Cece Brick, Outdoor Recreation Planner, at (541) 416-4634 or by email at Individuals in the United States who are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability may dial 711 (TTY, TDD, or TeleBraille) to access telecommunications relay services. Individuals outside the United States should use the relay services offered within their country to make international calls to the point-of-contact in the United States. 


The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Article Topic Follows: Outdoors

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