It’s still a work in progress, but hikers, bikers and runners can now access the Pendleton Adventure Trails Recreation Area.
On Feb. 21, Echo Bike & Board declared open. The 4.7-mile trail developed on 290 acres of sparsely used land west of the Eastern Oregon Regional Airport.
Although much of the trail is still unusable because of weather conditions, the first section is ready for public use.
The Pendleton City Council approved the recreation area in March 2016 with an agreement that local bike organizations would maintain the course.
Former city councilor Chuck Wood voted to institute the bike park and is a member of Pendleton on Wheels, one of the organizations that sponsors the area.
Shayne Myers of Echo Bike & Board, another sponsor of the Pendleton trail and the main sponsors of Red 2 Red Cross Country Mountain Bike Race in Echo, built the course over the winter when the ground is malleable enough to create a trail.
Perhaps fitting of an off-road course, finding the trail requires going slightly off the beaten path.
From Westgate, drivers must go north on Airport Road before making a left on an unmarked road between Western States Caterpillar and Farm Equipment headquarters. After traveling up a hill, drivers must stay left at the farm equipment building and park in the lot.
The entrance to the trail doesn’t have proper signs yet, although Wood expects that to come this summer when the first phase of the trail is complete.
Wood expects the trail to grow each year as Echo Bike & Board continues to work on the area.
Sponsors and city officials have expressed interest in the recreation area eventually hosting a bike race similar to the Red 2 Red in Echo.