BEND, OR -- The Deschutes National Forest will open its newest facility, this weekend. Jean Nelson Dean tells KBND News visitors should think of it as the “Front desk to the forest.”
"We are very excited to open our brand new welcome center off of Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, and offer visitor services up there, buying permits, the whole gamut of what you can do. Plus, there’s going to be some interpretive information out there," she says. Construction began in October 2014 on the $1.7-million project, which was partly funded by a 2011 federal grant from the National Scenic Byways Program.
Nelson Dean says, "We will be opening for the weekends, starting March 19, then it will be open all the week of Spring Break and we will be ramping up to basically being open all the time. But, it’s really going to be a great benefit for all the visitors we get in the summer, just providing great information." It's expected to be open daily, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., beginning May first.
According to the Forest Service, the new post will feature interpretive panels, revolving displays and various retail opportunities. Additionally, visitors will have convenient access to a trailhead just outside of the station which accesses over 100 miles of non-motorized hiking and biking trails.
The new Welcome Station is located on Century Drive, just west of the Seventh Mountain Resort.