Lemon Gulch

The Ochoco Trails proposal began development in 2017 and includes added hiking, equestrian, and cycling trails. Lemon Gulch represents the mountain bike portion of the proposal. 

The project has undergone nearly two years of the federally-mandated NEPA review process. The Forest Service is once again seeking public input on the project and alternatives being proposed. 

Download the Lemon Gulch Environmental Assessment PDF

View all project documents at www.fs.usda.gov

Submit your comments online before December 19th

Note: trails shown in the video are NOT USFS trails; wood features are not planned for the Lemon Gulch project.

Ochoco Trails would like to encourage everyone with an interest in this project to submit a letter to the Forest Service before December 19th, which can be done online at this link:

Lemon Gulch Comment Page

We believe the Lemon Gulch project offers enormous advantages to the local community and visitors, whether you are a cyclist, hiker, equestrian, business owner, Crook County resident, or just a user of your public lands.

Below you will find a bulleted list of benefits and advantages of the Lemon Gulch project from several different perspectives. Please feel free to borrow from these points when writing your comment (and, of course, add anything else that you feel is important).

We know that a large amount of misinformation has been spread regarding this project. At the bottom of this page, you will find a FAQ that addresses some of the things you may have heard. Link to FAQ

If you have any other questions, you can email Ochoco Trails at trails@ochocotrails.org

FOR Local and visiting mountain bikers

Crook County residents and business owners

other trail users

Tips for writing your comment

  • Read the USFS project documents before writing your letter. Project documents: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58831

  • Make comments substantive and specific. The Forest Service wants factual comments related specifically to the project goals.

  • Mix and match! Point out specific parts of each alternative that you think work or don't work, and explain why.

  • The comment period is not a voting process. Relevant and actionable comments are more important than sheer numbers.

  • Respectful and rational letters will be taken more seriously.

  • See the USDA guide to writing project comments here
  • The letter does not need to be long, but a personal letter will be given more weight than a form letter. We encourage you to pull from the points below but write in your own words. However, if you are very short on time or need additional help getting started with the letter, click below for some language you can use (and please edit for personal relevance):

FOR Local and visiting mountain bikers

  • Alternative 2 is the most beneficial to mountain bikers as it offers the best range of riding from longer XC to DH trails with a broad range of difficulty.

  • A concentrated but high-volume trail network will serve to “future-proof” against future trail needs as mountain bike use inevitably grows. 

  • This proposes a downhill-focused trail network, a type of riding experience that is severely lacking in Central Oregon.

  • Lemon Gulch lends itself to truly technical and steep trails not possible elsewhere in Central Oregon.

  • Trails that offer a full range of difficulty, all located in one small zone, means families and friends of different abilities can enjoy a shared day of riding.

  • Closer proximity to Prineville means less time spent driving for locals and visitors alike.

  • Having many trails close to each other offers an entire weekend's worth of riding in one location, rather than simply riding one trail and leaving.

FOR Crook County residents and business owners

  • Lemon Gulch is much closer to town than other trails in the Ochocos where bikes are allowed on.

  • More outdoor recreation means a healthier community.

  • Mountain biking has been shown to be a HUGE economic benefit to small towns.

  • For example, in the small town of Oakridge, Oregon (population 3,300), mountain bikers spend roughly $3-5 million each year.

  • Bike tourism contributes $400 Million to Oregon’s economy each year.

  • Mountain bikers spend an average of $491 for a weekend riding trip. 

  • More recreation and tourism will help diversify Prineville’s economy, reducing the reliance on corporate data centers and extractive industries.

  • We do not want to set a precedent in which private landowners become the gatekeepers to public land simply because they have the financial means to own large properties adjacent to national forest land.

  • Mountain Bikers have proven themselves to be responsible stewards of the land.

 FOR Other Trail Users

  • The Lemon Gulch trail network would be a significant step for the Ochoco National Forest to address it's own resource management plan from 1989 that called for added trails, and specifically included mountain bike trails.

  • Existing trail options in the Ochocos are limited, which means more people are trying to use the same trails.

  • Recreation is going to increase, which will mean even more user conflict if the use is not spread out.

  • Providing a more attractive close-to-town riding experience for cyclists will mean fewer will be on Lookout and Round Mountain trails.

  • A concentrated, but high-volume bike trail network will serve to “future-proof” against future trail needs as mountain bike use inevitably grows. 

  • Ochoco Trails is a collaborative group. Our proposal also includes hiking and equestrian trails to provide additional trail opportunities for all types of non-motorized users.

  • It is important to show land managers and local officials that different user groups CAN successfully work together. 

  • Option 2 offers the most attractive range of riding styles for mountain bikers, which means they are more likely to constrain riding days to LG versus other areas of the Ochocos. However when taking into account other variable such as environmental factors, alternative 6 would be the best compromise of the six options.

You can submit your comments online to the Forest Service here: https://cara.fs2c.usda.gov/Public//CommentInput?Project=58831

The full environmental assessment documents for Lemon Gulch can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58831