A note from the Wenatchee Outdoors staff: This story ran recently in the Wenatchee World Newspaper. We are including it here because it’s important for recreationalists to comment and give support to the idea if they would like to see the plan move ahead.
by K.C. Mehaffey
World Staff Writer
WENATCHEE — The U.S. Forest Service wants to build almost 25 miles of new non-motorized trails and improve another 10 miles of trails built by mountain bikers to connect No. 2 Canyon with the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust’s Sage Hills and Horse Lake Reserve trails.
This week, the Wenatchee River Ranger District released a draft environmental assessment for the proposal, which also includes a downhill and skills park for mountain bikers, two new trailheads, road improvements and a seasonal closure to protect deer on winter range.
The public has 30 days to comment on the No. 2 Canyon Trails Project.
A summary of the proposal says the new trail system “would help satisfy the demand for a comprehensive trail system across multiple jurisdictions, close to Wenatchee, and suitable for all non-motorized users including mountain bikers.”
The area, about 6,138 acres, is four miles west of Wenatchee, and has been managed as a non-motorized area since the Martin Ranch was acquired in 1966 and 1996 for recreation and wildlife preservation.
“The Forest Service is interested in responding to demand of more trail opportunities in the lower Wenatchee Valley, near the population center of Wenatchee,” the document says.
The proposal was developed with input from several groups, and grants were used to complete planning.
One new trailhead would be built at Martin Ranch, about .4 of a mile up Forest Service Road 7101-500 at the old ranch house foundation. A second, called Four Corners Trailhead, would be located on the Forest Service Road 7101-111 intersection. Both would provide an information kiosk, picnic tables and a vault toilet, and parking.
The proposal includes an 18-acre downhill area that provides short, high-challenge bike trails, and a 20-acre skills park with a variety of mountain bike features such as “pump tracks, low long rides, progressive drops and jump lines.” It would also have a picnic pavilion and toilet facility.
Of 29.6 miles of trails, both newly constructed and user-built trails that are either rehabilitated or adopted into the system, the vast majority — 27.5 miles — would be multi-use, while one mile would be for hikers only, and 1.1 miles would be for bikes only.
More information, including detailed documents and how to comment, is available at wwrld.us/No2Trails.