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Opened in 2014, the Sun-Lava Trail traverses a beautiful stretch of scenic Oregon forest between the Lava Lands Visitor Center and the Sunriver Resort. The paved trail runs for over five miles, allowing cyclists and pedestrians to get outdoors and explore this pristine environment, located just a short drive south from the community of Bend.
As its name suggests, the land that houses the trail has been shaped by millennia of volcanic activity, with the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and the Lava Butte Cinder Cone providing amazing scenery just north of the trail. Trail users should be prepared for some inclines and declines along the way due to the rolling landscape; right near where the trail crosses over the railroad tracks, a short spur leads off from the main trail to head north to Benham Falls, a lovely spot along the Deschutes River - a stretch of boardwalk allows you to cross over the river and continue along the unpaved Deschutes River Trail from there.
On the western end of the trail, the path comes to an end at the outskirts of the sprawling Sunriver resort community, a popular destination for winter and summer outdoor fun. Trail users can continue on paved trails through the area thanks to the Sunriver Bike Path, which provides convenient off-road access to various sites in Sunriver. With its incredible blend of gorgeous scenery and access to a number of popular locales within the Deschutes National Forest, the Sun-Lava Trail has quickly become one of the premier ways of experiencing the area's natural beauty, and the Forest Service is already working on plans to extend the trail north towards Bend.
Parking is available at the Lava Lands Visitor Center on the eastern end of the trail, located right off of Highway 97. On the western end of the trail in Sunriver, there is a small trailhead with parking located on Forest Service Road 600, just north of where the trail ends at East Cascade Road. Parking is also available along the trail at the Benham Falls Day Use Area, located at the end of Forest Service Road 9702.
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