When you live just a few miles from Bend’s Phil’s Trail complex, it’s hard to justify riding elsewhere. Packing up the bikes and driving to a trailhead seems like cheating. However, I’m not above cheating when getting to a premier trail requires riding my mountain bike on 15 miles of road.
Maston Trail is a great trail option for almost every season except summer, when the trails are so sandy you’ll find yourself hating life as you suck dust and your wheels grab so fiercely, you’d swear they’re flat.
The terrain is easy, which makes it a great option for early season riding or when it’s so cold out you think your lungs are going to burst from the simple act of inhaling. Maston is also a great choice when Phil’s Trails are muddy or under snow.
After above-average October rainfall, we headed to Maston with friends, to get our housebound selves out on the trail. The juniper and sage-lined trails are a very different scene than the pine and manzanita of Phil’s, yet gorgeous in their own way.
For beginning to less-technical riders, I recommend sticking to the outer loops if you want to avoid the more challenging lava rocks. You’ll still find plenty of fun, relatively friendly obstacles to keep you feeling alive and awake. Keep your eyes open for bald eagles, which frequent the area and are always a joy to behold.
You can make your ride a quick one-hour jaunt or keep looping to extend it into a longer workout. I prefer doing the ride in the counter-clockwise direction, which has stunning views of the Cascade range on the return. I do not use the term stunning lightly.
Some of Maston’s bike trails cross equestrian trails, so if you run into horses do them a favor by stopping and saying “Hello” in a friendly voice. Horses are lovely, yet simple creatures who see rider-plus-bike as one exceptionally scary being. When you talk to horse and rider it helps the mild-mannered herbivore to interpret you as less of a monster, thereby lessening the threat to the equestrian’s life. (I speak from experience.)
Let me know what you think!