COOS COUNTY — New mountain biking trails are planned for the existing Winchester trail area, off U.S. Highway 101 heading south toward Bandon.
County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins said the project is a collaboration between the county, state parks and Wild Rivers Coast Alliance.
She said Oregon State Parks gave the county the funding for three-fourths of the $278,000 needed for the project. Cribbins said the remainder will be made up through in-kind and match grants. She said the county will put out a request for proposal to find a contractor to build the trail.
The planned portion is part of a much larger project between Coos and Curry counties, with a total of 30 acres of mountain biking trails planned.
She said the biking trails would be separate from the existing motorized trails and would be solely for non-motorized use. The biking trails will be narrower, have a lot of switchbacks and eventually lead out to the ocean.
At a forum a couple weeks ago, Cribbins told local business members about the plan.
“Anybody who manages a forest knows that you get a harvest every 50 years or so, but you don’t do a lot with your lands that make you money in between,” Cribbins said.
She said the trails will give the county a chance to show off its forests to tourists and show residents what a managed forest looks like.
“So being able to bring tourists to our community to see this forest, get them recreating and spending dollars in your businesses is real value,” Cribbins said.
The nearly 12 miles of trails are expected to be done by fall of next year.