The Central Oregon Trail Alliance is in the process of putting together the Madras East Hills Trails Project, which should be close to finished around early fall.
The trails are currently usable, but are still under construction. Lots of progress has been made since the February announcement of the trail project in Madras. Around 80% of the hiking/biking trails have been completed.
The horse trails are about 60% completed and several features have been added to both of the trails.
As of June 21, the Madras East Trails Project had 443 volunteer hours logged. Of all the trails built in Central Oregon, through COTA, 24.5% of the trails have been built through volunteer work.
Most recently, a bridge on the far east side of the biking trails has been built, with several signs making users aware that construction is taking place.
Cross country style mountain bike trails will be about 10 miles long, over rolling hills. Because the project sits at 2,250 feet above sea level, it will allow for winter and summer use.
The soil being used is slightly clay-based, which makes the trails solid for year-round use, and also creates less dust than other soils.
The clay also allows riders to go at a faster speed than they would on unpaved trails without a clay base.
The trails pass through sagebrush, with great views in all directions. A feature of the trails, which some might find unnerving, is the animal bones and skulls located along the way.
Just east of Juniper Hills Park, at the entrance along Ashwood Road, old bones and skulls mark the start of the trails. As you continue on the trails, more bones appear hanging off trees, guiding the way, while sending a shiver down your spine.
The trails are not too difficult for any rider and make for an enjoyable ride.
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