The Central Oregon Trail Alliance (COTA) added Funner and Tiddly Winks trails to the system west of town in to make it easier to stage races without disturbing the public at other popular areas. Trails are being added in this area by COTA with approval by the Forest Service at an ambitious pace in order to make the deadline for some grant money. Funner and TiddlyWinks are rideable and fun with lots of big banked corners and jumps. These trails are a work in progress so do not be surprised if you run into soft freshly worked sections and respect closure signs. Originally some of the features were more than a little hard to ride up. Now however most of the more difficult sections have alternate routes that you can use to go up or down. There is a bit of climbing for the first part of Tiddly Winks from the start of the trail at Wanoga but it is much longer with more features once you start descending. At this time, unlike the Whoops trail, there is no one way restriction. One option, if you are not doing a shuttle, would be to ride up the highway then descend one of the two trails. Even though this area was conceived as a racing venue it is becoming popular as an easy way to run shuttles off Century Drive. Try not to be too disappointed if it is closed for a race as there are many race organizers vying for available dates. Check ahead for race dates. Racing is being promoted by local organizations trying to boost the economy.
Because it is so new some of the intersections may not be marked. The start of the two trails at the top at the Wanoga Snow Park are not very well marked - yet (2009 -2010). Funner takes off at the northeastern corner of the parking lot by some ski with dogs trial signs. Tiddly winks takes off at the east end of the sled hill at the bottom in the trees in front of the new warming hut. Once you are on the trails there are quite a few passing lane splits or options for the degree of difficulty. The intersection at the bottom of Funner and TiddlyWinks now has a sign however it has the mileage of both trails as nearly the same. This is a mistake. All you have to do is look at the map to see that Funner is considerably shorter. See the map below for the current location of the start of Dinah Moe over near Edison Snow Park (2010).
The section of Storm King down to the Deschutes has been greatly reworked. It used to be kind of boring and straight. If you haven't ridden that in awhile you are in for a pleasant surprise. Hats off to the COTA crew working on that! Have you joined COTA
yet? Unfortunately this trail segment is easily added to a shuttle from Wanoga and the amount of traffic and or how hard the downhillers break is causing it to be full of stutter bumps. Some of that damage appears to be from beginners braking where they really don't have to or breaking much harder than necessary.
The Kiwa Butte and Dinah Moe Humm Trails opened in the fall of 2010 and connect Tiddly winks near the high point on Kiwa Butte to the Edison Butte Snow Park and Trail. This opens up more possibilities for grand loops via Edison and Lava Lake. By the end of 2011 COTA hopes to build a connector trail from Edison down to the end of the Steve Larsen near Kiwa Srings and on down to Conklin road. COTA is under some pressure to finish this trail on time as part of grant so be sure to sign up for the work crews. The Steve Larsen Trail is not yet open as of the fall of 2010. It is only a 2.3 mile somewhat level out and back the way it is until they finish the trail just mentioned. There is some Forest Service signage on the trail but that is probably just to keep motorcycles off it until COTA officially unveils it.
Much of Funner and TiddlyWinks trails goes through what appears to be a giant clear cut at the upper end. The word from someone in the Forest Service is that this was more likely a series of shelterwood cuts made in a early effort to control the Mountain Pine Beetle. The area was never replanted as the idea of a shelter cut is that you let a few remaining trees do the reseeding. Unfortunately the pine beetle is winning that war and the amount of dead lodgepole in the forest is going to make for a huge trail maintenance headache in the years to come. It is all ready a big problem with no adequate budget for the Forest Service.
Getting There: The Wanoga Snow Park is a major parking lot on the left side (south) of the Cascade Lakes Highway on the way to Mount Bachelor. It is just past the Meissner Snow Park on the north side of the highway. It is 12.2 miles from the last round about on Century Drive in Bend. The Wanoga Snow Park is well signed for all the activity there in the winter. There is a pullout for a gated road just below where Storm King crosses the highway on the south side of the highway. The gated road is about fifty yards passed a long chain up pull out lane on the right. The Storm King trail is about another 50 yards uphill on the Highway from the gated road. This is not marked and easy to miss. The coordinates of the trail crossing the highway are approximately 43.980952 lat and -121.460907 long.
For some reason below the labels for the trails only show up in the "Earth" (Google Earth) tab
One interesting thing to check out is when you zoom in on the satellite imagery just south of the TiddlyWinks trial in several places you can see where the Forest Service planted old clear cuts in rows. Being part of the Department of Agriculture they planted this way for awhile thinking it would be easier to harvest and thin the stands later, maybe also to control erosion. They no longer do it this way for forest health? Basic GPS Instruction
Crowdsourcing - get involved with the mapping!