Mount Hood National Forest will have new bike park

MOUNT HOOD, Ore. -- Outdoor enthusiasts will soon no longer have to wait until winter to frequent Timberline's ski slopes.

A project to bring 17 miles of bike trails to the Timberline ski area was unveiled Monday. Mount Hood officials said they approved the permitting for the mountain bike park on Nov. 19, after a long planning process.

The mountain bike park is tentatively scheduled to open the summer of 2015, said Laura Pramuk, spokeswoman for Mount Hood National Forest.

Construction of the trails will likely begin after the snow melts next year and continue into 2014, depending on weather and other park constraints, Pramuk said.

Timberline Lodge is drawing its plans for the trails from Gravity Logic, a consulting firm from Whistler, British Columbia, which designed the world-famous Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

The plans calls for several downhill trails, including beginner and intermediate routes, to zigzag through ski and forested areas of Timberline. Mountain bikers would use a chairlift to ride to the top of the trails.

Park officials said the new trail system would offer amenities similar to what other mountain bike parks offers, including ramps and beginner runs, as well as a bike rental facility.

An exact plan for the park, including the duration of its season and lift tickets prices, has not yet been planned, Pramuk said.

For more information on the project, call District Ranger Bill Westbrook at 503-622-2001.