June first marks the official opening date of the Summit Loop Trail at Smith Rock State Park. The Summit Loop Trail is 2 mile connector trail that links the River Wolf Tree and Burma Road trails creating an 8 mile loop. Most of the trail is within the boundaries of the Park, but part of it passes through private land owned by Ranch at the Canyons and permanently protected by the Deschutes Land Trust. The June 1 trail opening will coincide with State Parks Day (free parking!) and the grand opening of the Park's new welcome center. The celebration will feature a ranger-led hike on the new trail.
The Land Trust protected the land the Summit Loop Trail crosses in 2007. The land is owned and managed by the Ranch at the Canyons and is permanently protected via a land preservation agreement with the Land Trust. The entire property is 550 acres and protects wildlife habitat, 1.5 miles of the Crooked River, along with scenic views of Smith Rock. The property is bordered by Smith Rock State Park on the south and federal land to the north and east.“With Smith Rock State Park an iconic, statewide treasure, the Land Trust is pleased to protect such important scenic views and wildlife habitat, forever,” said Brad Chalfant the Land Trust's executive director. Read the original Bend Bulletin article from when the property was protected.
Learn more about the trail:
- Read the State Parks blog post about the trail.
- Read the Oregonian article about the trail.
- Check out Land Trust hikes on the Summit Loop Trail and elsewhere.