Mountain bikers will have another reason to gravitate to Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort next spring.
Work is nearly complete on the 2.5-mile Broadway Flow trail. As its name implies, the trail generally follows the Broadway ski run, which starts at the top of the Rock Garden chairlift and ends near the ski area’s lodge.
A “flow trail,” in the mountain biking lexicon, is one that’s primary downhill, and traveled in that direction only.
Flow trails typically are wider than a normal singletrack trail, with a relatively smooth surface that, along with that assist from gravity, allow riders to glide along without doing much, if any, pedaling.
When the snow melts next spring the downhill trail, which is not open now, will give riders a new and exciting option, said Whit Hartz, a member of the board of directors for the Blue Mountain Singletrack Trails Club in La Grande.
The Blue Mountain Singletrack Trails Club paired with Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort to secure a $74,000 grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to build the Broadway Flow trail.
The grant required a $20,500 local match.
The trail will be open to hikers as well as mountain bikers, said Dan Ermovick, recreation program manager for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.
The ski area operates on national forest land under a special-use permit.
Jeff Tomac, the Whitman District ranger, approved the Broadway Flow trail proposal.
The Broadway Flow trail is the first of its kind in the Anthony Lakes area, Hartz said.
He hopes the trail is just the first of many downhill flow trails, a trend that has proved popular at many ski areas seeking to complement their winter offerings with summer recreation.
Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort has been doing just that over the past few years by improving several of its Nordic skiing trails to make them accessible to mountain bikers.
The ski area has also hosted a mountain bike festival annually (this year’s event was canceled due to a wildfire.)
“It’s already a place where people bring bikes when they come up to camp,” Hartz said.
Although some flow trails include jumps and other features that appeal to riders who have heavier bikes specifically designed for intense downhill riding, Hartz said the Broadway Flow trail is suited for all types of mountain bikes.
“Hopefully this is the first step toward expanding the concept and getting the area on the radar as a destination downhill area,” Hartz said.
Dirt Mechanics LLC of Bend was the contractor for the project.
Volunteers gathered on three days this year to help build the trail. The last of the work days was Sunday, when about 13 volunteers endured fresh snow and cold temperatures.
The trail starts at about 8,000 feet elevation and drops about 900 feet. The trail was designed to standards of the International Mountain Biking Association, of which the Blue Mountain Singletrack Trails Club is a member.
Baker Loves Bikes was also a partner in the project.
More information about mountain bike trails around the region, including maps of Anthony Lakes and other riding areas, is available on the Blue Mountain Singletrack Trails Club’s website, bluemountainstc.org/home.html