Bridge over Bend, Oregon

A new trail in the ever-popular town makes for an easy spring outing

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High-country trails are still snowed in ― but that's not a problem for hikers in Bend, Oregon, which has more than 48 miles of trail inside city limits. The southern extension of the Deschutes River Trail is one of the newest paths, offering the quickest on-foot escape from civilization.

You can walk the Deschutes River Trail from the center of Bend or bike from the Old Mill District, just a few minutes downstream. Other than a few short detours onto city sidewalks, the trail now covers more than 11 miles on either side of the river in town.

To check out the new section of trail, walk or drive to Farewell Bend Park. Where Reed Market Road crosses the Deschutes River at Healy Bridge, head south 1.5 miles on either side of the river to the South Canyon Trail Bridge. You'll notice a few houses and office buildings along the canyon, but what you'll remember are the rimrock, the ponderosa pines, and the geese and mergansers.

Info: Free trail maps are available around town, on www.bendparksandrec.org, or by calling 541/389-7275.

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