Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

From Portland to Mt. Hood, on a bike path? Yes.

Posted by on April 7th, 2010 at 10:18 am

Detail of Tickle Creek Trail from map
in Bi-State Regional Trails System plan.

I caught an article in the Daily Journal of Commerce yesterday about an effort by the City of Sandy to fund and build a new trail that would connect to the Springwater Corridor Trail and result in an unbroken path all the way from downtown Portland to Mt. Hood. And then I got all excited.

I hadn’t heard much about this so I went digging for more info. The trail is known as the Tickle Creek Trail and it’s part of what Metro calls the “Mt. Hood Connections” project.

The new trail would head east from the southern terminus of the Springwater Trail in Boring, making a six-mile jaunt into the city of Sandy (which is the gateway to Mt. Hood). Metro has listed it as one of 37 trails in their Bi-State Regional Trails System Plan and it’s one of their “Urban to Nature Active Transportation Corridors.”

The trail has even caught the attention of Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who has requested a $1.5 million appropriation to fund initial planning, easement acquisition, and design (total estimated cost of the trail is $7.8 million). That initial investment is meant to move the project up to “shovel-ready status,” thereby making it eligible for a number of federal funding sources.

The tourism potential of this trail is much of what’s driving the momentum from both the City of Sandy and from Blumenauer.

From the Congressman’s appropriations request:

“Mt. Hood Connections will be accessible from the Portland International Airport and Oregon’s largest metropolitan area via feeder bikeways and a sophisticated mass transit system. With the addition of the critical Tickle Creek link, the journey by bicycle to Mt. Hood becomes a long-term economic benefit as a major asset for visitor services and tourism businesses along the way.”

In the DJC article, Sandy City Manager Scott Lazenby says it would benefit his city from a tourism standpoint because it would allow Portlanders to “reach nature without using a car.” It would also connect Sandy residents to Portland. Lazenby tells the DJC that, “My wife and I have used surface roads and then ridden down to Sellwood for breakfast.”

Mr. Lazenby, when this trail gets built, we’ll lead a ride of hundreds of Portlanders to Sandy for breakfast!

If you’re excited about projects like this, get involved by staying tuned for more updates, attending the Oregon Bike Summit in June or following the work of The Intertwine Alliance.

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  • Amos April 7, 2010 at 10:25 am


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  • Paul April 7, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I bike out to Sandy (and up Hood) on a regular basis in the summer, and this sounds fantastic.

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  • Gabriel Nagmay April 7, 2010 at 10:27 am


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  • Evan Ross April 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

    This is so awesome. I recently had a couple from Poland contact me about wanting to rent and ride bikes from Portland to Mt. Hood, climb Mt. Hood and ride back. I have been researching options for them, and this plan will be great to share (even if it will be a while to completion). Talk about international tourism opportunities. Thanks for the info BikePortland.org!

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  • Jacob April 7, 2010 at 11:32 am

    This will be awesome! Time to rig up a trailer so I can carry my MTB out to Hood via bike!

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  • Michael Wolfe April 7, 2010 at 11:44 am

    This is nice. But the Cazadero trail down Deep Creek is way more important, IMHO. You get from Portland to Sandy, and that’s okay, but what then? You have to ride on US 26 up the mountain, and screw that (either that or the circuitous and hilly route via Marmot Road). The Cazadero trail will get you between Boring and OR 224, and 224 is fine to Estacada, and brilliant after that, and takes you right into the Mt. Hood National Forest.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 7, 2010 at 11:50 am

      hey Michael,

      I thought you might comment on this story.

      I hear you about the Cazadero and I think that’s actually part of the Mt. Hood Connections project. I don’t think the Cazadero is part of the appropriation, but it’s definitely a priority for Metro. (Ms. McTighe, can you help me out here?).

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  • OLD&SLOW April 7, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    Michael, from Sandy you can take Marmot and Barlow trail road to Zigzag and could them either get on 26 to Government Camp or go up to Lolo pass to Hood River. The connection to Sandy would be really great.
    The Barlow trail road (which is across the Sandy River adjacent to 26) is a really great low traffic alternative.

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  • RWL1776 April 7, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Contact Susan Corwin at the Barlow Trail Association. She has been working on this plan for over 5 years. She has attended the Oregon Bicycle Tourism planning meetings since the beginning, back in about 2004. Great lady, lots of ideas and energy!


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  • Jene-Paul April 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    This is close (can’t really tell from the Intertwine graphics) to the route (Vantucky to Mt. Hood) I came up with for preparing for another ride this summer which you posted about today, Jonathan – ACA’s Sierra Cascades. It’s beautiful up there (Marmot is good training!).
    Save me a seat at breakfast in Sandy.

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  • Todd Boulanger April 7, 2010 at 1:22 pm


    But please plan for some hiker biker sites along the way too. 🙂

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  • Jene-Paul April 7, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Todd, I woulda never thought of that! Mainly because up past Sandy & Rhododendron, it’s pretty much National Forest laced with logging roads and wild camping is just a matter of finding a level spot. There are some existing campgrounds along US26, maybe they could be modded to include the H/B sites, if access from the proposed trail(s) is practical.

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  • Michael Wolfe April 7, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Hey OLD&SLOW,

    Yeah. I know. That’s why I wrote:
    “either that or the circuitous and hilly route via Marmot Road”.

    But while that’s a pretty road, that’s not going to help Evan’s Poland couple so much (ride to Sandy, and turn left on Ten Eyck, go down the big hill and up the steep hill on the other side, make a hard right on Shipley, bear left onto Marmot Road at the top of *that* hill, and so on and so forth…) As you acknowledge, it still involves going up US 26 (unless you’re going over Lolo Pass).

    Much better to just be able to say: ride out to Boring on the Springwater, continue down Deep Creek, turn left on 224 and go as far into the woods as you please.

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  • matt picio April 7, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Jonathan (#7) – Yes, but the danger is that if this trail is completed first, it can be used as a justification for why we don’t need the Cazadero trail – even though the 224 corridor is much better suited for cyclists than the Hwy 26 corridor. (not to mention a lot more scenic)

    Old & Slow (#8) – That route is higher elevation and has greater total elevation gain than Cazadero / 224. I agree the connection with Sandy would be nice, but so would the connection to Estacada and the Clackamas Ranger District.

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  • pun for bikes April 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    So, if you were going to build a test version of this trail, then it might be the…

    Test Tickle Creek Trail



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  • Jene-Paul April 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Hey, Michael Wolfe.

    Well, who says the Polish visitors have to ride up the Springwater? (much as I like it) If they have just flown in from Europe, maybe they’d be just as happy riding out from PDX to Troutdale and spending the night. In the morning, they can ride up along the other side of the river Sandy (and skip the yawning gap on Ten Eyck) but yeah, eventually they’ll be on US26. They can pass through Sandy-town on the way back down.

    Continuing the Springwater past Boring down to OR224 would be really nice.

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  • velomann April 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    This is a great idea, but echo what Michael W and others say. So you get to Sandy. Then what? Grab a donut at Joe’s and call it good, head down Ten Eyck, or up hwy 26. It’s a start though.

    I long for a route that will take me to the woods and campgrounds without highways. The old rail bed across Tickle Creek and parallel to Hwy 224 out to Estacada from Boring is still there. Build a bridge across the creek, cut some brush, pave it and you could ride from Portland to Estacada roadless. That would be sweet.

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  • n8m April 8, 2010 at 1:30 am

    A carless nature bike/ped path from mt. hood to the coast would rule. It could be advertised around the world as a sort of eco-oregon trail. It would pay for itself over and over again. Oh please please please build it already!!

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  • kiwimunki April 8, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Sounds like a CycleWild trip waiting to happen. It’ll open up an opportunity to see some more of the big, beautiful world from behind our handlebars. And with springtime on my mind, I can hardly think about anything else.

    Also, I look forward to asking the object of my affection if he’d like to head up Tickle Creek with me for the weekend. Thanks, Trail Planners, for giving me another dorky/creepy pickup line! You can just never have too many.

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  • matt picio April 8, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    velomann (#17) – exactly, but minor nitpick, I think you mean Deep Creek – the Estacada route (The Cazadero Trail) crosses Deep Creek, not Tickle Creek.

    The primary issue with that route currently as I understand it is that there are some right of way issues with the Salvation Army campground there. Also, until federal funding is obtained, Clackamas County has no funding to acquire and build the trail.

    The completion of that trail would allow car-free access to Estacada from downtown Portland, and access to 2 campgrounds with less than 1/2 mile of road riding. It would also provide access into the Mount Hood National Forest along the lightly-traveled Hwy 224 corridor.

    Many of Cycle Wild’s trips follow this alignment, and anyone wanting to learn more about the issues should consider camping with us at Milo McIver State Park on May 1-2, one of the campgrounds that would be served by the Cazadero Trail.


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  • velomann April 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Matt (#20)

    Yep, my mistake. And I should know better. I grew up on a farm where Stone Rd, Anderson, and Telford intersect between Gresham and Boring, and used to watch the train from my bedroom window when it made its 2x/week journey along the line that is now the Springwater trail. I would ride my bike to fish Deep Creek from the bridge on Amsigger downstream. I once hike-a-biked the rail bed from Boring through the camp Trestleglen property and across the creek where the old trestle bridge used to be, to Barton. The area is near and dear to me.

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  • Mark Young April 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I hope this comes to pass. I am planning a bike trip to Hood River and back with ilikeyournewhaircut in July and these paths would sure come in handy. I can’t wait!

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  • craig April 8, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    But who will pave the currently unpaved easternmost section of the Springwater Corridor running from SE 267th out to Boring? Road bikes need this.

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  • Aoshea April 8, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    this ride needs to link to the Pioneer bridle trail – open to bikes and parallels 26 above brightwood and right into government camps crosstown trail and then up the glAde trail to timberline
    more of a tour than road ride

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  • Opus the Poet April 8, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    I hate climbing, but I would so do this trail.

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  • Lindsay July 20, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Whatever happened to this? Got any updates or time lines?

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