Epic Views, Miles of Singletrack, and No Crowds: Bend’s Southeast Side is Calling
Every fall I get a bit jealous of mountain bikers and trail runners that live in Southeast Bend. By late November, the iconic Phil’s Trail Complex is half compact snow and ice with a mix of dirt and not a great place for a trail adventure. For several months, the simple pleasure of being minutes from great trail riding is put on hold. However, on the Southeast side of town the trails of Horse Butte, Arnold Ice Cave, Swamp Wells, and Horse Ridge are in their prime; and for the most part will stay that way until late Spring.
The trails of SE Bend (Horse Butte, Swamp Wells, Arnold Ice Cave) are for the most part mellow and non-technical, however they do offer some fantastic scenic views of the Three Sisters and Mt. Bachelor on a sunny day. The terrain is fairly flat so you can cover some serious ground quickly and longer rides connect with the Horse Ridge trail network located about 10 miles out of town off of Highway 20. Horse ridge offers some great technical riding and a solid mix of technical climbs and fast descents. If you are up for an epic day head out from the Horse Butte trail head and make your way to Horse Ridge for a lap down Sand Canyon and a solid Sister’s mountain view ride back to town. It will not disappoint.
What is the best part about these trails? Even on a busy day chances are you will only encounter a few users. The network is fairly vast and the amount of use is a fraction of what Bend’s more popular trial networks receive.
What is it like to live in South East Bend? For starters there is an incredible amount of variety when it comes to housing. Ranch style homes on small acreage in Woodside Ranch, a plethora of newer neighborhoods including Hidden Hills, Stonegate, and Cascade Heights, several golf communities surrounding the Bend Golf and Country Club, and sprawling farm and ranch properties just outside city limits.
The pace of life feels a bit slower compared to the higher density scenes of Downtown Bend and Bend’s West side. In fact, you’ll find that a lot of new newer residents out this way are longer-time West side Bendites looking for a more relaxed slower pace of life. Your dollar also goes a bit further out here. Your more basic three bed, 2 bath, 1700 square foot home search will start below Bend’s riding median sales price. Something West side buyers cannot find if they are looking to live close to trail access. If you haven’t taken time to explore this side of town, it is definitely worth a visit.