Posts tagged "TKO"

TKO Returns to Angel’s Rest and More

March 17, 2018 Posted by Columbia River Gorge, Newsletter, Spring 2018 0 thoughts on “TKO Returns to Angel’s Rest and More”

By Steve Kruger, Executive Director, Trailkeepers of Oregon

On September 19, 2017, TKO volunteers had every intention to make their yearly return to Angel’s Rest. The site of our first official trail work party in 2008, this place is very dear to all of us, and we make a special effort to come back and take care of this trail on a regular basis. As the Eagle Creek fire lit up and rolled on in dramatic fashion through summer’s end and into fall, our return wasn’t meant to be as planned. We worried that we would not get the chance to visit some of these special places for quite some time. We intentionally avoided saying these Gorge work parties were “canceled,” instead declaring that the events were “postponed” for the time being. By making that distinction, I shared my own determination that when the smoke cleared and the area was deemed safe, we’d be the first to sign on and bring those trails back again.

A man stands on a trail in front of standing burned trees and a tree across the trail.

Steve Kruger stands atop the Upper McCord Trail that leads to the overlook of Elowah Falls. In January, he and lead TKO volunteers scouted the trail for the first time and saw that it has a long way to go before being opened to the public. (Photo by Tom Kloster)


Brushing a Trail While You Hike

March 14, 2018 Posted by Newsletter, Spring 2018 0 thoughts on “Brushing a Trail While You Hike”

By Patrick Keavney, Crew Leader, Trailkeepers of Oregon


A lot of us see trails that rarely get a good brushing as we’re out hiking. At a recent TKO fundraiser, a hiker asked me the best way to trim the brush encroaching the trail. My wife Elaine and I have a lot of experience at that. We work with local land managers and lead work crews to maintain trails east of Portland from the Clackamas River to Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge. We try to brush the most heavily-used trails one or two times a year. When we brush an existing trail corridor, we clear six feet wide and eight feet high. If the trail is shared with horses, we clear eight feet wide and ten feet high. Obviously, you need special tools to clear that way. But any hiker can do a good job at brushing using a simple hand trimmer and a folding saw / pruner that easily tucks into a side pocket.


An Interview with Susan Schen

March 14, 2018 Posted by Newsletter, Spring 2018 0 thoughts on “An Interview with Susan Schen”

By Michael McDowell, Newsletter Editor, Trailkeepers of Oregon


Susan Schen grew up in Northeast Ohio among deciduous hardwood forests and, as she says, “not a lot of elevation gain in hiking.” When she lived in Seattle for a year, she “just kind of fell in love with” the Pacific Northwest. She started volunteering with Trailkeepers of Oregon in the fall of 2016 after moving to Portland and is now a trail crew leader. Michael McDowell and John Sparks sat down with Susan on a morning in February to talk about her experiences with trail work.

A woman wearing a hard hat carrying a burned log.

Susan working on fire-damaged trail in the Gorge. (Photo by Megan Zabel Holmes)


Look Who’s Hiking: A Trail Baby Primer

March 14, 2018 Posted by Newsletter, Spring 2018 0 thoughts on “Look Who’s Hiking: A Trail Baby Primer”

By Megan Zabel Holmes, Board Member, Trailkeepers of Oregon


After a new baby arrives, it feels intimidating to get out of the house, let alone out on the trail. These little humans seem to require so much in the way of supplies and accessories, not to mention what it takes to soothe their unpredictable temperaments. To the uninitiated, hiking with an infant might seem like undue torture. But it doesn’t have to be! With the right plan and attitude you can unlock a new level of quality family time. Here are some lessons I’ve learned (most of them the hard way) about hitting the trail with the smallest adventurers.

A man with a baby in a baby carrier on his chest standing on a cliff high above a wide river.

Baby does her best Lewis and Clark impression. (Photo by Megan Zabel Holmes)


Amanda’s Trail and the Forced Relocation of Oregon Peoples

March 14, 2018 Posted by Newsletter, Spring 2018 0 thoughts on “Amanda’s Trail and the Forced Relocation of Oregon Peoples”

By John Sparks, Board Member, Trailkeepers of Oregon


Sometimes a trail is not just a trail. On Cape Perpetua, the Amanda’s Trail, which runs two and one-half miles from south of Yachats to the CCC-constructed stone shelter up on the cape, holds two tales worth the telling. One is the lengthy, complicated and bureaucratic process around creating a hiking trail where none existed before; the other brings to light a grim chapter of Oregon history when native peoples were forced to relocate to lands remote from their ancestral homes.

Close-up view of deep blue purplish petals of flowers in bloom.

Camas blooming at the top of Cape Perpetua. (Photo by John Sparks)


Hot Springs in the Forest

September 16, 2017 Posted by Fall 2017, Newsletter 0 thoughts on “Hot Springs in the Forest”

By Cheryl Hill and John Sparks

A man leaning back in a chair smoking a pipe with four other men sitting around a campsite.

A group of men camped at Bagby Hot Springs in the 1920s.

The Bagby Hot Springs Trail #544 is one of a number of trails that once led to the 136-degree pools above the Hot Springs Fork of the Collawash River. American Indians had long known about and used the hot springs along the Hot Springs Fork when prospector Robert Bagby visited the site in 1881 following a rough sign with an arrow labeled “Hell.” (more…)

Hike of the Season: Potato Butte

September 16, 2017 Posted by Fall 2017, Newsletter 0 thoughts on “Hike of the Season: Potato Butte”

By John Sparks

The lower portion of the trunks of ten large coniferous trees foregrounded against innumerably more trees behind them.

Old-growth forest on the lower section of the Red Lake Trail.

There’s a back way into the Olallie Lake Scenic Area, and it requires the relief of driving decent gravel for less than a mile as compared to the dusty, sometimes spine-shattering washboard experience of getting in to the often crowded shores of Olallie Lake itself. The semi-secret is the Red Lake Trail #719. The hike does require a little elevation gain up the escarpment above the Clackamas River, but it delivers you to a series of backcountry lakes with camp spots—Red, Averill, Wall, Sheep, and Fork lakes—which are some of the less-visited in the area. In fact, the trail still exhibits some of the old varnished trail signs of a past age and even one marker referencing the Skyline Trail, precursor to the Pacific Crest Trail! (more…)

Volunteer Spotlight: Geri Marz

September 16, 2017 Posted by Fall 2017, Newsletter 0 thoughts on “Volunteer Spotlight: Geri Marz”

By Michael McDowell

A woman in a hard hat standing on a steep slope with her hands on a large rock.

Geri doing rock work at Trail Skills College, April 2017.

Geri Marz joined Trailkeepers about a year ago. She’s volunteered weekly almost ever since joining, and put in many volunteer days over the past winter, spring, and summer on a trail crew building the new Viewpoint Trail at Milo McIver State Park. John Sparks and Michael McDowell met with her in August to discuss her TKO volunteering. (more…)

Oregon Creates an “Office of Outdoor Recreation”

September 16, 2017 Posted by Fall 2017, Newsletter 0 thoughts on “Oregon Creates an “Office of Outdoor Recreation””

By Tom Kloster, President, Trailkeepers of Oregon

Man kneeling in water holding a large fish

Oregon Representative Ken Helm with a catch!

In its 2017 session, the Oregon legislature passed a pair of bills that created a new “Office of Outdoor Recreation” and established the first Saturday in June as “Outdoor Recreation Day.” Trailkeepers of Oregon partnered with the Mazamas, Oregon Wild, the Sierra Club, and other outdoor groups to support passage of the bills. Representative Ken Helm (D-Beaverton), a TKO member and co-sponsor of the “Office of Outdoor Recreation” bill, says he hopes the new legislation will help the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department better promote and support outdoor organizations like TKO. (more…)

Send a Ranger!

September 16, 2017 Posted by Fall 2017, Newsletter 0 thoughts on “Send a Ranger!”

By Steve Kruger, Executive Director

A man in rain jacket and hard hat kneeling in green foliage.

Steve Kruger cutting new trail at Punchbowl Falls Park on a Trailkeepers of Oregon work party in June, near Hood River.

While chopping up the dirt on a trail near Hood River with TKO volunteers not long ago, I was answering as many questions as I was asking as we got acquainted. Having recently left my job as an Oregon State Parks ranger to accept the role of Executive Director of Trailkeepers of Oregon, I get asked plenty of questions. My most common reply is, “They thought they should send a ranger. A jack of all trades, right?” One of my fellow crew members said, “Did you know there is a second part to that phrase? A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.” It brought a smile to my face and reminded me of a line from a seminal figure in public lands’ history about the many roles of park rangers: (more…)

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