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South Coast Tourism

A young cyclist splashes through a puddle on a guided ride of the Whiskey Run Trails during the inaugural Whiskey Run Mountain Bike Festival north of Bandon on June 6.

BANDON — Coos County’s newest mountain biking trail, Whiskey Run, is set to expand.

Coos County was awarded a $100,000 grant from Travel Oregon and will receive an additional $50,000 match from Travel Southern Oregon Coast.

Lilian Black, 5, pushes her bike along a tricky stretch of trail Saturday during a beginners ride on the Whiskey Run Trails south of Coos Bay …

The first 10 miles of the new trail opened in June.

“We hope to build 30 miles of world class single track,” said Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins, who has spearheaded the effort along with Travel Southern Oregon Coast. “These funds are a big step toward that goal.”

Whiskey Run is satisfying the growing local demand for more mountain biking infrastructure.

“It’s also an important part of our economic development strategy for the county.” Commissioner Cribbins explained.

Outdoor recreation and tourism is a growing sector on the southern Oregon coast. According to the Oregon Travel Impacts study, visitors spent over $271 million in Coos County in 2017. Tourism directly employs 3,300 people in the county.

“We want to help get more people outside, enjoying the beauty of our woods and water,” said Travel Southern Oregon Coast Executive Director Jon-Paul Bowles. “Whether it’s helping fund Whiskey Run, water trails, or promotional materials, our goal is to show off the best of the south coast and encourage people to spend more money at local businesses.”

The Whiskey Run opening event, held on June 9, attracted over 100 people.

“I’ve been pleasantly surprised,” said Coos County Forester Lance Morgan. “There are cars at the trail head every day. I’ve seen license plates from Arizona, Utah and all over.”

Bandon Western World Editor Amy Moss Strong can be reached at 541-347-2423, ext. 305, or by email at amy.moss-strong@theworldlink.com. Follow Bandon Western World on Facebook.

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