Be alert while biking at Skyline Forest!

Apr 25, 2018
Spring is the start of mountain biking season at Skyline Forest. Please make sure to be alert to heavy machinery at this active, commercial timberland.

By Brad Chalfant

Spring is in the air! With the end of the annual Winter Range Closure to protect deer and elk, mountain bikes and gravel bikes have begun to return to Skyline Forest. For those interested in exploring the roads and trails of Skyline Forest (aka Bull Springs Tree Farm), it’s important to understand this is an active, 33,000-acre private commercial timberland.

Remember to be alert while enjoying Skyline Forest. Photo: Bob Woodward.
Remember to be alert while enjoying Skyline Forest. Photo: Bob Woodward.
The landowner has been gracious to continue allowing public access to this private property in Bend’s backyard. However, while Skyline Forest continues to be logged and otherwise managed, it means log trucks and heavy equipment will be on the logging roads this spring, summer, and fall--often moving at high rates of speed!

 

It’s no big secret that colliding with a log truck is a quick way to ruin a great bike ride. Log truck drivers aren’t expecting to encounter a hiker, cyclist, dog, or vehicle parked along the road. Forcing an 80,000 lb. log truck to hit it’s brakes at high speed to avoid hitting a cyclist or other visitor will make for a bad day for all concerned. This could even cause the public to lose the access we currently enjoy at Skyline Forest.

The Deschutes Land Trust remains committed to the eventual protection of Skyline Forest from the threat of subdivision and development (once the landowner is ready). Let’s show how we can be good neighbors until then. Be sure to report fires or other illegal activity to the Deschutes County Sheriff. Being a good neighbor and acting as the collective eyes and ears for Skyline Forest's owner is a key reason we continue to have access to this very special private forest!

Go forth and enjoy the roads and trails of Skyline Forest and the adjacent Deschutes National Forest! But please be alert to fast moving, behemoth vehicles that aren’t likely to see you until it’s too late.

 

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