First off, we have become an official COTA Chapter. This recognition helps us to move forward with building more trails in Jefferson County, with the East Hills Trails Project first up.
What’s the East Hills Trails Project?
The Madras East Hills Trails Project is an outdoor recreation project to the east of Madras. This area offers beautiful rolling hills with about 1,000 ft elevation change per 10 miles, and is ideal for trail runners and cross-country style mountain biking. Also because it sits at a lower elevation - about 2,250 feet above sea level - it’s a great area for winter and summer use. The soil is slightly clay-based, allowing for solid trails year round.
The East Hills is owned by a few primary players including Morrow properties, Bean Foundation, City of Madras, and USFS/Crooked River National Grasslands. All four primary entities have a strong history of supporting recreational use of lands, and the private entities have donated lands to the city and/or county in the past for parks and open spaces.
Our intent for this project is to build a multi-user trail system in the East Hills that will eventually spread into the Crooked River National Grasslands. To begin, access points need to be created from Juniper Hills Park into the East Hills. From there we have a lot of options for trail design. There are numerous amazing viewpoints, and some awesome natural features to work with.
What’s the first step?
The City of Madras owns a piece of property that is slated for the city to develop over the next 25 years. It currently lies mostly unused. Last year COTA proposed building a demonstration trail system on this property. The concept is to build a system of trails for community use, while developing and designing a connected trail network into the Grasslands as the city grows. Further, as the demo trail system property becomes utilized by the City of Madras for city expansion over the course of the next 25 years, a handful of these trails would remain throughout the property for continued public use and Grasslands trails accessibility. The City Council of Madras elected to move forward with this project in 2017.
Want to get involved or keep up to date?
Join our Facebook public ‘Madras Trails’ group and keep up to date here.
Interested in getting involved with trail works in Madras? Email the Madras team here.