Posts in Winter 2018

Gorge Recovery Efforts Taking Shape

December 18, 2017 Posted by Newsletter, Winter 2018 0 thoughts on “Gorge Recovery Efforts Taking Shape”

By Steve Kruger, Executive Director, Trailkeepers of Oregon

Work in the Columbia River Gorge has changed dramatically for Trailkeepers of Oregon since September 2, 2017. On Labor Day weekend we saw the Eagle Creek Fire race across some of the most highly prized scenic sites and hiking terrain in Oregon. Over the following weeks the fire grew to encompass nearly 49,000 acres, leaving a mosaic pattern of different severities of burned landscape and closing 121 miles of trails.

A park ranger points to a sloping rocky trail at the base of a cliff with burnt trees around.

Oregon State Park Ranger Jamen Lee points to where the trail grade for the Upper McCord Trail has been overcome by debris and landslides from the Eagle Creek Fire during initial post-fire trails assessments in October 2017. Photo by Andrea Berkeley.


TKO’s First Oregon Trails Summit

December 18, 2017 Posted by Newsletter, Winter 2018 0 thoughts on “TKO’s First Oregon Trails Summit”

By Steve Kruger, Executive Director, Trailkeepers of Oregon

On October 27, trails professionals from nonprofits, outdoor recreation companies, and land management agencies came together in Bend, Oregon, for TKO’s first crack at hosting an Oregon Trails Summit.

A large high-ceilinged room with dozens of people at tables listening to a speaker at a podium.

An afternoon update on the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) by Oregon State Park’s Terry Bergerson. SCORP is Oregon’s five-year plan for outdoor recreation. Its primary purpose is to provide up-to-date, accurate information to assist recreation providers with park system planning in Oregon. Photo by Daniel Sharp Photography.


Trail Work Spotlight: McIver Viewpoint Trail

December 18, 2017 Posted by Newsletter, Trail Work Spotlight, Winter 2018 0 thoughts on “Trail Work Spotlight: McIver Viewpoint Trail”

By Elaine Keavney, Board Member, Trailkeepers of Oregon

Along the Clackamas River between Oregon City and Estacada, 951-acre Milo McIver State Park has historically had a single trail connecting its upper and lower northern sections. Because frequent slides and the resulting repairs temporarily closed the Vortex Loop hillside section of the trail almost every year the past few years, Oregon State Parks was given grant funding to create a new, more sustainable trail. It would begin at a new Milo McIver Memorial Viewpoint overlooking the Clackamas River with views of Mount Hood and Mount Adams, and end near a meadow in the lower northern section of the park. Park Ranger John Hilbert contacted TKO Crew Leader Elaine Keavney about the possibility of TKO volunteers leading the trail-building project. Pat and Elaine Keavney met with the ranger several times in early September 2016 to flag the proposed route.

A hard-hatted woman pounds a sledge hammer onto an upright log while two trail workers support the log with straps.

Elaine Keavney pounds a Grimm stake to secure a curb log along the Viewpoint Trail, while two trail workers support the log with straps. Photo by Elaine Keavney.


An Interview with Roberta Lowe

December 18, 2017 Posted by Newsletter, Winter 2018 0 thoughts on “An Interview with Roberta Lowe”

By Michael McDowell, Newsletter Editor, Trailkeepers of Oregon

In the 1970s and 1980s, photographer Don Lowe and writer Roberta Lowe published the first trail guides for hiking in Oregon. Their series of hiking guidebooks opened trails throughout Oregon for a generation of hikers. On a rainy afternoon in November, Michael McDowell and John Sparks sat down with Roberta Lowe to discuss the outdoor career she and her husband Donald pursued. Responses have been edited for concision and clarity.

A woman with ice axe in hand descends a sheet of snow that appears suspended in the air.

Roberta Lowe crosses a snow bridge on Mount St. Helens around 1964 while “wandering about until we had sufficiently amused ourselves.”


Hike of the Season: Riverside Trail

December 18, 2017 Posted by Hike of the Season, Newsletter, Winter 2018 0 thoughts on “Hike of the Season: Riverside Trail”

By Cheryl Hill, Board Member, Trailkeepers of Oregon

When winter snow has buried your favorite trails at high elevations, the Riverside National Recreation Trail #723 along the Clackamas River offers a great alternative. At 1,500 feet elevation, the trail is accessible during most of the winter except when the snow level has dropped very low. With a rushing river, creek crossings, towering trees, and a mossy forest, this hike will whet your appetite during the wet days of winter, but not overly tax you. The four-mile-long trail follows the river between Rainbow and Riverside campgrounds, but the Riverside Trailhead around the midway point is a good starting point for this hike.

A river flowing through a forest.

View of the Clackamas River from the Riverside Trail. Photo by Cheryl Hill.


Paydirt: Trails on the North Fork John Day River

December 18, 2017 Posted by Newsletter, Winter 2018 0 thoughts on “Paydirt: Trails on the North Fork John Day River”

By John Sparks

Much of the North Fork John Day River Wilderness is a resurrected landscape, especially along its watercourses, and still recovering from placer mining operations that sifted entire stream beds and blasted away hillsides from the 1860s into the 1950s.

A whitewater river bounded by coniferous trees on steep banks and a steep slope in the distance.

The North Fork John Day is returning to pristine condition. Photo by John Sparks.

One portal to the wilderness is via the upper North Fork itself, and from the North Fork John Day Campground you can hike a good loop  that takes in trails established by miners, their mule teams, and later their vehicles. (more…)

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