Bike trails

Robert Whitsell leads a team of young people in building a bridge for the Whiskey Run Mountain Biking Trails in the rain. The crew is gaining work experience through a program run by South Coast Business Employment Corporation. 

SOUTH COAST — The Whiskey Run mountain biking trails, the first trails on the Southern Oregon coast that are mountain biking specific, are soon to be finished.

The trails are located off of West Beaver Hill road and Whiskey Run, which is where the trails get their name. They’re about 10 miles from the Winchester multi-use trails, but it’s important to note that the two do not connect.

Although many of the trails are complete there are still some work crews digging out parts of trails and building bridges in some areas.

The biking trails are the effort of Coos County, the biking club Wild Rivers Coast Mountain Biking Association (WRCMBA), and other community members to promote tourism in the area.

Grants for the project were written by the Wild River Coast Alliance, and come from the state parks department and Regional Solutions. The state grant being for $180,000, and the Regional Solutions grant for another $50,000.

Trails are on Coos County forest land, in a logging area. So in 20 years when the area is harvested by loggers the routes of the trails are likely to change.

“Coos County Forest has been really supportive, and have seen the benefit of the trails,” WRCMBA Board member Erin Kessler said.

Many different groups and individuals have donated their time to building these trails. One of the work crews out in last week’s rain was a group of young adults working with the South Coast Business Employment Corporation to gain work experience.

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Mountain biking trails are internationally categorized by difficulty using the colors green blue and black. Green trails are beginner trails, blue trails are intermediate trails, and black trails are for advanced riders. Most of the trails will be green beginner trails. However, there will be a few intermediate areas on trails for more advanced riders.

“They’re easy enough that my four year old on her bike can ride, as well as folks that are new to mountain biking … Most of these are green, but there are a few that we’d consider blue maybe. But they are not mandatory, you can just take another trail," Kessler said

These trails are on what’s known as a stacked loop, which means trails loop back around to each other allowing trails to branch off and loop around for varied difficulty.

The grand opening for these trails, when they’re 100 percent completed and marked with signs, won’t be till early next summer. However, there will be a soft opening on Nov. 18.