By Ann McCreary
A new advanced mountain bike trail has opened at Sun Mountain, thanks to lots of volunteer labor by the local chapter of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance.
Called “Wild Turkey,” the trail traverses the top of Thompson Ridge and offers expansive views of the Methow Valley and Sawtooth Mountains, said Dave Acheson, president of the Methow chapter of the bike alliance.
Work on the new trail began last fall. The bike alliance was offered a bargain price to use a mini-excavator owned by Methow Trails to set the trail, and finished it with a lot of hand labor this year, Acheson said.
“It’s open and rideable. We’ll be adding more features, like jumps,” he said. “It’s designed as an advanced trail.”
The new trail is a couple of miles long, and volunteers are now working to extend another trail, called Woodpecker, to connect to it at the top of a knoll near Thompson Pass. Another trail, Pete’s Dragon, will also connect at the point.
“This important connection will offer new opportunities for long single track rides that aren’t interrupted by roads or ski trails,” Acheson said.
The bike alliance is also planning to develop another 20 miles of new trails at Sun Mountain, and is working with the U.S. Forest Service, which owns the land on Sun Mountain, to obtain necessary permits, Acheson said.
“Last fall we handed in a proposal for about 20-plus new miles of trail. It’s now undergoing environmental review with a target of September,” Acheson said.
A grant from the state Recreation and Conservation Office has helped pay for the costs associated with the required environmental review for the trail development, Acheson said.