Village Green Park & Peterson Ridge Trail in Sisters, Ore.
By Deborah L. Vence
Bikers who frequent Village Green Park in Sisters, Ore., and ride through the scenic Peterson Ridge Trail located nearby now have easy access to showers, as well as other infrastructure and amenities to encourage active enjoyment of the community.
"[The new infrastructure] allows for the cyclists to shower and lock up their expensive bikes that they do not want to leave on the top of their cars and walk the one block into the downtown core," said Paul Bertagna, director of public works in Sisters, Ore., adding that there has been great feedback about the new showers, which are used daily.
The idea for the showers was to attract bikers and recreation enthusiasts to the area, which boasts scenic bike routes and a mountain bike system. The restroom/shower building, provided by CXT Inc., and completed on Dec. 28, 2015, was made possible through an OPRD (Oregon Parks and Recreation Department) grant.
"Recreational tourism equals [money] for the local businesses, and our town and the surrounding national forest have a lot to offer in the way of recreation," Bertagna said. Other infrastructure in the park area includes an informational kiosk, parking, sidewalks, street lights and landscaping.
The dimension of the restroom/shower building is 17 feet by 29 feet, with four restrooms and two showers (coin-op showers). Other amenities include four double bike lockers for eight bikes. Bike lockers are located close to the restroom/shower building and the playground in the park.
Many hikers and bikers go to Village Green Park due to its close proximity to the trailhead. The park is located two blocks south of downtown between Elm and Fir streets. At the park, there is a covered gazebo, a covered barbecue area with tables, playground equipment and many shade trees, offering park-goers a place to enjoy a nice picnic lunch.
The park hosts many large events, too, such as the Sisters Folk Festival. People often ride their bikes through the area, and when they return, will lock up their bikes and go to the local events. There are many trails in town for local bike traffic, and trails continue to be updated.
Peterson Ridge Trail is located at the south edge of town just across Whychus Creek on Elm Street. The trail system has been expanded to 25 miles, offers options for riders of all abilities and generally can be characterized as a playful flowing single-track, according to information from sistersoregonguide.com.
The trail system also features views of the Cascades, a major mountain range, while "East and west legs and a dozen connectors between them provide loop opportunities from one to 20 miles." To boot, recreation enthusiasts also can ride or hike the experts-only trail over Eagle Rock, which is only two miles from town.
The Sisters Trails Alliance, a volunteer organization dedicated to envisioning, building, maintaining and promoting a non-motorized, multi-user community trails system, maintains the Peterson Ridge Trail. The trail was constructed in 1989 as a mountain bike trail and consists of a combination of single-track trail and old forest service road. The city of Sisters, located in Deschutes County, offers hiking, fishing, running, mountain biking, horseback riding, and more.