Top Trail Towns: Bend, Oregon - Page 2
Photo by John Melton
> DESCHUTES RIVER TRAIL FROM THE OLD MILL DISTRICT
Combine people watching and trail running with either a loop or out-and-back on this downtown Bend trail. “The old mill District is a popular area for paddling or floating the river, pick-up soccer, beach volleyball, fishing or just hanging out,” says Howe. “Also, the trail turns to single- track within minutes, and you’re winding along the river. Not bad for the heart of town!”
> FLAGLINE TRAIL
“This is my favorite Bend trail,” says Howe. “You are away from it all up there, immersed in pristine wilderness. It’s pure heaven.” The trail winds up around the Cascade Lakes with stunning views of Mount Bachelor, the Three Sisters and Broken Top Mountain. The trail is only accessible from mid-August through first snows due to its high elevation and an annual elk-calving closure. Park at the Swampy Lakes Trailhead and use the Swampy-Dutchman Tumalo Mountain Connector, the Flagline Access, the Flagline and the Flagline Tie Trails to make a stunning 16.7-mile loop.
> DIRTY HALF / A hyper-competitive, June half-marathon with about 1000 feet of climb taking place on a lollipop of well-used, almost exclusively singletrack just outside of bend (footzonebend.com/dirty_half).
> HAULIN’ ASPEN HALF AND FULL TRAIL MARATHON / Held in August, the half-marathon features about 1000 feet of climb, the marathon has about 2700 and both races run on a mix of singletrack and dirt roads just west of town (haulinaspen.com).
> FLAGLINE 50K / In September and on the flanks of Mount Bachelor, says Howe, “The race winds its way through the Three Sisters Wilderness, past places like Happy Valley Tumalo Creek and finishes on the area’s nordic trails. Big climbing, big views. Also, a local burrito shop caters the event, so the post-race food is killer.” (flaglinetrailfest.com/flagline-50k).