Dear SUTAphiles,

We were out this week checking a section of the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail between Deming Gulch and Armstrong Gulch when I looked at the view, the colors in the maples and oaks and said “How lucky we are to have this in our backyard”.  For all of us fortunate enough to live in this part of Oregon, I recommend you come out and take a stroll on the Sterling Mine Ditch or drive up Anderson Butte Road and drive/bicycle, hike, ride towards Wagner Butte along the future Jack-Ash route while this gorgeous weather lasts.  We really have spectacular existing and future trail resources in our backyards to enjoy.

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It’s been a year since SUTA held its very first trail clearing day on the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail with the help of Nick Schade and others from the BLM.  Enjoy the fruits of the efforts by BLM crews, SUTA volunteers, and the Youth Corp tread work – and bring a friend or two.  In one year we have collectively re-established a fabulous resource for the community.  We have posted some pictures of the Sterling Mine Ditch just taken along the short 2-mile segment between Deming Gulch and Armstrong Gulch.  It’s spectacular – like the rest of the trail.   Thank you all for your hours of work.  Here’s the bird’s eye view, compliments of Google Earth:

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Speaking of the Sterling Mine Ditch Trail, at the Armstrong Gulch access to trail, BLM has posted great signs at the entrance to the Ditch on both sides of the road.  Combined with the great weed whacking that has been done by a stellar volunteer, it is extremely easy to find the ditch if you drive up Armstrong Gulch.  BLM told us their crews were planning to continue cutting the last section of the ditch that was impassable during October.  This section is quite a ways from any of our current access points so I have not had a chance to see their work yet.  But it’s exciting to think the trail will soon be open all the way from Deming Gulch to the Little Applegate trail head.

As great as the trail now is, there is still a great deal of poison oak to be pulled out/cut back and quite a bit of tread work in various spots along the trail.  We will be posting dates for anyone wanting a great physical workout on the trail, combined with good food and great laughs, over the next few months.

In addition to our ongoing work on the Sterling Mine Ditch trail, we have been out scouting the future Jack-Ash trail routes and will be continuing that process in the next month.  We will have many more exploratory hikes over the next few weeks and will post advance notice when possible so that you can join us.

JOIN OUR EFFORTS:  If you love to hike, run, bicycle or horseback ride, bird watch or any other type of non-motorized recreational activities – please join our efforts. To hear about upcoming SUTA events via email, please let us know through the contact form on our website or call 541-899-5665 .

We hope to see you out on the trails.

Hope Robertson



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