44 Trails Conditions Update – June 9

44 Trails  Conditions Report – Surveyor’s, Fifteenmile, Eightmile, Knebal and more!
Knebal Spring, Surveyors and more
We’ve got more trails open in the 44 zone!

Here’s the latest report as of Friday June 9, 2017

Knebal Springs Trail #474 – Cleared and OPEN – a few snow patches but ridable
Bottle Prairie Trail #455 – Cleared and OPEN – a few snow patches but ridable
Eightmile Trail #496 – Cleared and OPEN – a few snow patches but ridable
Oak Ridge Trail #688A – Cleared and OPEN
Super Connector – Cleared and OPEN
Dog River Trail # 675 – Cleared and OPEN
Surveyor’s Ridge Trail #688 – Cleared and OPEN
15 Mile / Cedar Creek loop trails #456/#457 – Clear and OPEN

Cooks Meadow
 trail #639 –  BLOWDOWN likely – snow possible upper end
Lookout / #450 – CLOSED – SNOW / BLOWDOWN

The 44 Road is fully open but the 4410 and other spur roads in the area still have snow, especially above 4,500 feet. High country trails like Gunsight, Boulder, Forest Creek are still under significant snow.

Eightmile, Knebal and Fifteen mile campgrounds are also open!

44 Trails Movie Night Success!

44 trails singletrack mountain bike trails

Great turnout last night for our movie night fundraiser! Many thanks to Nick at Kickstand Coffee and Kitchen and all of the bike community who turned out in force to support 44 Trails and our mission to maintain, refine and expand the connectivity of the singletrack mountain bike trails accessible from the 44 Road on the Mt Hood National Forest!

We could not have done it without all of the generous donations from local and bike related businesses! These folks all support the local bike scene and deserve your support in return!

Giro, Dakine, Timberline, Dog River Coffee, Sixth Street Bistro, Mountain View Cycles, Hood River Bikes, Smith, Northwest Graphics, Kickstand Coffee, Dirty Fingers, Hale Construction, Fat Tire Farm, Western Edge Tree Service, Full Sail Brewing and of course we need to thank the USFS for our ongoing partnership!

If you missed the action last night and would like to help support the 44 Trails Association with a financial contribution, you can donate anytime via PayPal: 

44 trails mountain bike movie night

 

44 Trails Conditions Report – Knebal and Eightmile OPEN

 

44 trails singletrackWe’ve got more trails open in time for the long weekend!

Here’s the latest report as of Thursday May 25, 2017

Knebal Springs Trail #474 – Cleared and OPEN – a few snow patches but ridable
Bottle Prairie Trail #455 – Cleared and OPEN – a few snow patches but ridable
Eightmile Trail #496 – Cleared and OPEN – a few snow patches but ridable
Oak Ridge Trail #688A – Cleared and OPEN
Super Connector – Cleared and OPEN
Dog River Trail # 675 – Cleared and OPEN
Surveyor’s Ridge Trail #688 – Cleared and OPEN

15 Mile / Cedar Creek loop trails #456/#457 – CLOSED – SNOW / BLOWDOWN

Cooks Meadow
 trail #639 – CLOSED – SNOW / BLOWDOWN
Lookout / #450 – CLOSED – SNOW / BLOWDOWN

The 44 Road is fully open but the 4410 and other spur roads in the area still have snow, especially above 4,000 feet. High country trails like Gunsight, Boulder, Forest Creek are still under significant snow.

Enjoy the lower elevation riding – the dirt is in great shape but there are wet sections, even on Knebal and Eightmile – so please be mindful.

Eightmile and Knebal campgrounds are also open.

Ride Your F#%ing Bike – Movie / Fundraiser – June 8

Movie fundraiser for 44T

What: Movie / Raffle / Beer / Food – proceeds to benefit 44 Trails Association
When: 7pm – 9pm Thursday, June 8, 2017
Where: Kickstand Coffee & Kitchen – 1235 State Street Hood River, Oregon – next-door to Dirty Fingers Bike Shop

Join 44 Trails, Kickstand Coffee & Kitchen and Dirt Fingers Bike Shop for the new Ride Your F#%ing Bike movie from Fox Racing showing on June 8 at Kickstand in Hood River. Proceeds from raffle tickets, beer sales and donations to benefit 44 Trails Association.

44 Trails Conditions Report – May 2017

Here’s the latest spring trail update for the 44 Trails mountain bike trail network.

The 44 road is snow free and open and lower elevation trails are opening up. There is still snow and blowdown on the trail system but there a few things opening up for access: Here’s what we know as of May 19:

Surveyor’s #688 is open and rideable

Dog River #675 is open and rideable

You will find blowdown and isolated snow patches on much of the remaining trail system. Trails on the east side are more apt to be snow free, but we have not had any large scale blowdown removal yet. If you head up and ride – we’d love to hear what you find to help prioritize our blowdown removal. 44 at 44trails dot org is the place to send trail reports.

Thanks!

Summer 2017 Trail Work Schedule

Hood River Valley

February 2017 in Hood River

It’s been quite a winter in the Hood River Valley and on Mt Hood National Forest. Record low elevation snowfall has kept us off our bikes longer than normal this year and, barring some drastic shift to warm and sunny weather, access to the 44 Trails mountain bike trails is going to be later than many of us are used to seeing.

FR 44 snow cover as of late March 2017

Snow at the FR 44 / HWY 35 junction as of March 24

Nonetheless, we have some great projects lined up for the summer and want your help to make them productive! So here’s our tentative work schedule to add to your calendar and summer planning:

May TBA – Fund Raising Event in Hood River – more info to follow

July 8 Trailgate event – riding, demos, music, etc see info from last year

July 22 trail work – location tba – likely new Surveyor’s Ridge connector trail
Aug 12 trail work – location tba – likely new Surveyor’s Ridge connector trail
Sept 23 trail work – location tba
October 7 trail work – location tba

Timberline Bike Park – Comments Requested by Oct 31

Timberline Bike Park – comments needed by Oct 31

Timberline Bike ParkTHE BASIC STORY
As many of you know, a proposal for a Timberline Bike Park was approved by the Forest Service back in 2012 and subsequently halted by a lawsuit against the USFS by a consortium of environmental groups including the Sierra Club, BARK, Friends of Mt. Hood and the NW Environmental Defense Fund.

Well, to make a long story short (you can read the longer story below), a federal judge recently ruled in favor of the USFS and Timberline. The only hurdle for the Timberline Bike Park now is a mandated comment period around the scope of the initial environmental assessment for the project.

GET INVOLVED

This is where you can get involved by sharing your support for the Timberline Bike Park with the USFS before October 31, 2016. Comments should address support for the construction of the bike park without further delay and echo the decision by the courts that no further NEPA process is warranted.

The Forest Service has some requirements on comments:

– You must use the subject as listed below
– Comments must be sent in plain text (.txt), rich text (.rtf), or Microsoft Word
– Comments should not be a copy and paste of a form response.

 
SUBJECT
Timberline Mountain Bike New Information
 
SAMPLE letter (please write your own)

District Ranger Westerbrook,

I am writing in support of the Timberline Ski Area Mountain Bike Trails and Skills Park project. This project has been analyzed and litigated since 2010. During that time I have stood in support of this project. In August 2016 the final National Marine Fisheries Service assessment found no risk Lower Columbia River fish stock. Three years of biological studies concerning Western bumble bees find their range broadening across the forest and no risk of them being federally listed. I recognize we need fish and pollination to live. I am fully satisfied with the comprehensive analysis. Please allow construction of this much desired public recreation asset to move forward on our land. Thank you for your public service.

Sincerley,
YOUR NAME GOES HERE

WHERE TO SEND YOUR LETTER
Email: comments-pacificnorthwest-mthood-zigzag@fs.fed.us
or
Fax: 503-668-1423
or
Physical Address:
Mt Hood National Forest
16400 Champion Way
Sandy, OR 97055-7248

MORE INFORMATION ON THE ISSUES AND PROJECT

 

The Longer Story

The Timberline Bike Park proposal was approved in 2012 following 2 years of environmental studies, resulting in a comprehensive Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposal. The Forest Service issued a Decision and Finding of No significant Impact based on the analysis in the EA. This approval was subsequently appealed by a consortium of groups, led by the Friends of Mt. Hood. Upon review by the Region VI Regional Forester, the decision was upheld and the appeal was denied.

Just prior to the start of construction, the CRAG Law Firm, representing Friends of Mt. Hood, the Sierra Club, BARK and the NW Environmental Defense Center, filed suit against the U.S.D.A. Forest Service, and requested an injunction to halt any activity in regards to the proposed Bike Park. Timberline requested and was granted the right to be joined as a co-defendant intervenor with the Forest Service. A federal judge issued an interim injunction pending the court issuing a ruling regarding the merits of the issues in the case. This injunction applied to any trail building, but allowed most of the restoration work to proceed. The restoration work was substantially completed in the Fall of 2015. Subsequent to the initial stages of the law suit, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) was also named in an amended complaint.

In the Spring of this year, the federal judge ruled in favor of the Forest Service, NMFS and Timberline on most of the issues in the lawsuit, and deferred ruling on the few remaining issues pending Forest Service and NMFS completion of updated reviews of additional information in the form of an additional NFMS Biological Opinion, and the results of further Western Bumblebee surveys.

Yesterday, the Forest Service issued their review of the additional information on their website, their reasoning behind why they feel that the new information is consistent with prior work, concluding that no supplemental EA or other additional NEPA is required and provided for another public comment period regarding their review and conclusions, ending October 31st. The intent of the comment period is to receive input from the public as to whether or not to prepare a supplemental EA or otherwise reopen the EA process, which would further delay implementation of the Bike Park project.

Surveyor’s Ridge Trail Re-Route

Surveyor’s Ridge Trail Re-Route

single track trail constructionThe Mt Hood National Forest announced their decision to authorize the re-route of approximately three miles of the Surveyor’s Ridge trail (trail #668) where it parallels the current water pipeline for The Dalles – near the start of Surveyor’s.

The project is necessary because of a comprehensive project to update The Dalles Watershed Pipeline that will interrupt and conflict with the existing Surveyor’s trail infrastructure. In addition, the Barlow District Ranger, Kameron Sam, authorized the adoption of the pipeline project staging area into a new recreational user parking/staging area once the pipeline project is complete. This is all good news for the multi-use trail system accessible from Forest Road 44.

Here’s the quick snip directly from the decision document to support the Surveyor re-route. Read full Surveyor’s decision document here.

DESCRIPTION OF DECISION

“It is my decision to authorize the rerouting of approximately 3 miles of the existing Surveyors Ridge Trail #688 where it follows the Dalles Pipeline. The north end of the reroute would provide a short loop approximately .7 miles in length for non-motorized recreationists looking for a short distance trail opportunity. The reroute would also connect Surveyors Ridge Trail directly to the Super Connector. The area that will be used for staging for reconstruction of the pipeline would become a trailhead 1.5 acres in size. The trailhead would provide needed centralized parking for the trail system in the vicinity of Forest Road 44.

The existing Surveyors Ridge Trailhead would remain accessible; however, this trailhead is inadequate for the amount of use it receives. The new trailhead would be large enough to accommodate the amount of use the trail system receives. The segment of Surveyors Ridge Trail #688 that would be impacted by the pipeline replacement would remain open to non-motorized travel, although it would not provide the same semi-primitive experience it now provides.”

44 Trails hopes to slide this project into the trail work mix after we finish the Cooks Meadow Extension project early this fall. Stay tuned.

Hood River Mountain Bike Trails – 44 Trails Conditions Report

Hood River Mountain Bike trails

Attention 44 riders, we’ve been busy clearing spring blowdown on Hood River’s finest single track. Here’s the latest update on what trails have been cleared and are ready to ride in the 44 zone for Memorial Day weekend:

44 trails conditions report44 Trails Conditions

Dog River Trail # 675 – open
Surveyor’s Ridge Trail #688 – open
Knebal Springs Trail #474 – open
Bottle Prairie Trail #455- open
Eightmile Trail #496- open
Oak Ridge Trail #688A – open
Super Connector – open

Fifteenmile Trail #456 – Clear
Cooks Meadow Trail #639 -Clear

Higher elevation trails including upper 450, Boulder Lakes area and Bonnie Meadows have not been cleared of blowdown and are still too wet to ride. Please refrain from riding upper elevation areas that are still wet. Riding wet trails degrades the tread and fuels the argument for those who oppose mountain bike use.

Please respect the multi-use aspect of all trails in the 44 Zone and be prepared for new downed trees and changing conditions. There’s still some trail damage on open trails where downed trees have torn up the existing tread or uprooted trees have blown out the tread, so be alert for hazards. In other words, respect your fellow users and use your head! Have fun out there this weekend.

Hood River mountain bike trail conditions

Spring 2016 Trail Update

44 trails mt hoodSpring has come early this year and the high country snow around the 44 zone is rapidly melting away! The 44 road is fully open, but some of the spurs – including the 4410 road to High Prairie – are still blocked by snow.

As usual, winter has left us with a mess of blowdown on the trails. We are working on getting things cleared out, albeit slowly.

Here’s what’s currently been cleared:

  • Surveyor’s Ridge north of the two track (Shellrock Mountain)
  • Knebal from 8-Mile trailhead north to Super Connector
  • Dog River (full)

We hope to have Knebal/Super Connector/Dakine Trail trail clear to the Knebal parking area this week (May 15-20) and, hopefully, 15-Mile, remaining Surveyor’s and more by Memorial Day weekend.

Of course, new trees could come down and there’s always a little more brush leaning in on the trails this time of year until they fully spring back from being buried all winter.

FYI, attempting to ride uncleared trails will yield varying success. Depending on the degree of blowdown, you might get an open mile or two only to find yourself faced with an extensive stretch of climbing and bike carrying. So, if you head up to explore, be ready for an adventure. The spring brushout of blowdown is a chainsaw intensive project that requires being certified by the USFS, so we have a select crew of certified sawyers making their way through the network as time allows. If you are up exploring and hear saw work, please approach slowly!

We should have a new trail conditions update by May 20. In the meantime, the lower elevation trails around the Hood River Valley are in fine form. Happy riding.

Mark your calendars for the following events:
July 9 –
second annual TRAILGATE event – ride 44 zone, eat, drink and music –
details soonread about last year’s event

July 23 – Cooks Meadow Extension Trail work – read about Cooks Meadow Extension
Aug 20 – Cooks Meadow Extension Trail work – read about Cooks Meadow Extension
Sept 24 – Surveyor’s/Super Connect connector – more details on this project in June
Oct 8 – Surveyor’s/Super Connect connector – more details on this project in June