This Wednesday, the Deschutes National Forest, City of Sisters, the Recreational Trails Program and Sisters Trails Alliance will celebrate the opening of a new trailhead to access the popular Peterson Ridge Trail System with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

The ribbon cutting will be done the morning of July 29, with a small group of invitees due to COVID-19. Following the ceremony, the trailhead, located just east of Forest Road 16 near the existing trail access point at the intersection of Tyee Drive and Forest Road 16, will be open to the public. The old trailhead will be decommissioned, and users will need to use the new trailhead.

The trailhead will provide restroom facilities and a parking area for 25 cars. A new Forest Service trail connects the new trailhead to existing Peterson Ridge trails to the east and west. In coordination with the Forest Service, Sisters Trail Alliance is donating an informational kiosk to be installed at the trailhead later this year to help visitors.

“The City of Sisters is extremely pleased to have the new Peterson Ridge trailhead opening this July. This trail system is world class and is a very important part of what Sisters offers regarding outdoor activities for our Sisters Country residents, neighboring communities, and tourists. Our local businesses also understand the strong connection between having this outdoor recreation capacity and the business that it brings to our downtown corridor,” said Chuck Ryan, mayor of Sisters.

The Peterson Ridge Trail is one of the most heavily used trail systems in the Sisters area. The trails are easily accessible from the town of Sisters and offer multiple loop options.

“The Peterson trail system has grown in usage and the new trailhead will provide much-needed parking capacity and alleviate congestion in nearby neighborhoods,” said Mayor Ryan. “This trailhead, along with the recent Whychus Creek Overlook trail enhancement, are simply outdoor gems for our community especially in these challenging times.”

“We are so fortunate to have these relationships with the City of Sisters, Sisters Trails Alliance, the Recreational Trails Program and local contractors to collaboratively help us meet the needs of local residents and visitors,” said Sara Baughman, recreation team leader for the Sisters Ranger District.

The new Peterson Ridge trailhead was funded through the Recreational Trails Program, a Federal Highway Administration program administered by Oregon State Parks and Recreation, which funds the development and maintenance of recreational trails and facilities.