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Landslide closes Leif Erikson Trail in Forest Park (photos)

Posted by on June 16th, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Detail of slide location and detour map.
Download PDF/Photos below-

Portland Parks & Recreation says a landslide in Forest Park has closed Leif Erikson Drive, resulting in a closure of the gravel road that is popular for biking, hiking and running.

According to PP&R spokesperson Beth Sorensen, the road is now closed between milepost 7 and milepost 7.25 and is not expected to be reopened until repairs are completed in October.

Sorensen sent us these photos of the slide taken by park ecologists earlier today:

Sorensen says the slide occurred at milepost 7.11, which is about a 1/2 mile south of the St. Johns Bridge. There’s a culvert at that location that PP&R already planned to replace this year. Recent heavy rains were given as the cause of the slide.

For people biking in the park, the suggested detour (if heading north on Leif Erikson) is to head up Firelane 5 Saltzman Road to Skyline Road and then descend back into the park via Springville Road. A map showing the location of the slide and proposed detours has been made available and can be downloaded here.

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  • James June 16, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Friggin Obama.

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  • jocko June 16, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    I think that there might be a typo or just a mistake here. Folks should take saltzman up to skyline and then springville back down to Leif Erickson. FL5 is a tough single track climb while saltzman is a relatively easy jeep road.

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  • ian June 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    James, I don’t think you can blame Obama for this one even though it is possible that this could be caused from an oil leak. I think it is Sam Adams fault.

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  • RJ June 16, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    agree w/Jocko – the idea of climbing firelane 5 on a regular basis sounds unappealing to most – saltzman is a much better choice here.

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  • maxadders June 16, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Never mind Obama– how can we find a way to blame this on mountain bikers? I mean, Leif Erickson Drive was a pristine old-growth wilderness untouched by man until just moments ago…

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  • david....no! the other one June 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    BP, sunflower my mountain bike tire. I mean that’s just terrible. Do you think Forest Park could get its portion of Gulf Coast recovery funds, cause it impacts use until October n all.

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  • Brad June 16, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    I am pleased to see that a sense of humor can still be found on BikePortland!

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  • old&slow June 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I agree, it is not Obama’s fault, but he needs to fix it NOW! I am contacting the local teabaggers to see if we can somehow get this on Fox NEWS. Proof that he doesn’t really care about us.

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  • Scott June 16, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    How long until the rest of Leif Erikson slides down the hill? I’ve been noticing a lot of water running down the road’s surface in the last couple of weeks.

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  • Vance Longwell June 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    Oh good-grief! Why close that? I suppose there’s some remote possibility that’ll settle more, but c’mon. A closure? Heck, looks to me like that’s exactly what Ma Nature is doing here. Repairing it. Asphalt is less than, ahem, natural anyway, yo. That’s ‘repaired’ in my book!

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  • Bjorn June 16, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I agree with Vance, give it a bit to dry out maybe and stabilize but it doesn’t seem like that will need to be completely closed in July/August when the thing will be dried out.

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  • Case June 16, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    That’s what you get for cow-towing to the bike lobby. I bet there was a biker there at the time and mother nature was trying to exact her revenge! That’s ok though, this makes FP all that much more pristine.

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  • q`Tzal June 16, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    Cost effective repair:
    Signs on both sides of affected area stating “All users proceed at their own risk!” with small print absolving any local authority of any liability for their failure to reverse the natural geological process.

    Could use the Falling Stickman” sign as well.

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  • SkidMark June 16, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    So you can’t bike through there, but you can still hike through there with your (off-leash) dogs?

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  • Spencer Boomhower June 16, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    You guys are way off base with your blame-game-playing. Obviously this is the fault of those kids who graduated the Safe Routes to School program. They should never have bombed down that grassy hill! In Overlook Park!

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  • Barney June 16, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Pllleeeaaassseee!!! Just ignore the closure and pass at your own risk. If you need a babysitter to tell you if its safe to walk or ride you bike then stay home. Darwin rules!

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  • f5 June 16, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Keeping weight off of it until they get a chance to fix it means the chances it’ll get worse (read: the chances the city will have to spend a lot more than they will as it is now) will be minimized.

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  • Red Five June 16, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    The anti-mountain bike crowd probably sabotaged the trail to fail so they’d have a better arguement for banning bikes from Forest Park.

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  • Crash N. Burns June 16, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Damn those rogue hydraulic miners.

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  • q`Tzal June 16, 2010 at 8:37 pm


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  • Wyeast June 16, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    Closure to foot and bike traffic? Is there more of an issue there than the photos show?

    Someone who uses this route and lives in Portland (neither for me) should ask why the closure for 3-4 months. Sure looks like the managment of the hazard would be pretty straight forward and the trail could be opened.

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  • joe adamski June 16, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I recall reading that the reason the City has Forest Park is because back in the late 1800s, much of what is now FP was sold off for development. The land was cleared and soon had massive landslides, making it clear that this was view property, but not residential view property. Soon the County had much of it abandoned on tax rolls and it finally ended up in City hands.
    Point being, landslides are nothing new here. That there are more is what amazes me.

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  • matthew vilhauer June 17, 2010 at 12:01 am

    just ride wildwood…. isn’t that okay? wait… this isn’t the 80’s….

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  • PDaero June 17, 2010 at 12:42 am

    Pedalpalooza Landslide Ride

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  • Dave Cary June 17, 2010 at 8:25 am

    Any biker/walker who can’t negotiate around this little sinkhole should probably stick to the Springwater. Sounds like a lawyer’s decision to close it for 4 months. Four Months!?! Is that because city engineers can’t figure out a temmporary repair to keep it open for the most used period of the year? Unbelievable! Portland!

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  • Dave Cary June 17, 2010 at 8:34 am

    And the detour map: That was as clear as mud. I like the idea of signs warning of the danger and allowing people the chance to make an intelligent decision as to whether they should risk it or not. Give us as break; we’ve all got brains. Jeese! And if a few fall into the hole, that’s just Darwin illustrated.

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  • Kt June 17, 2010 at 11:15 am

    They probably want people to stay off it so when the rest of the road falls away there won’t be anyone on it who would get hurt.

    Roads built on hillsides in rainy areas frequently have this problem– especially when said road is built over a culvert that isn’t doing its job to divert water.

    Just be smart, people. If you decide to ignore the road closed signs, and the road falls away with you on it, you forfeit your right to be mad about it or to get anything from the city and the parks dept!

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  • fredlf June 17, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    It’ll take four months because that’s how long it takes to work through the repair options: junk shot, top kill, containment dome, etc.

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  • ayresjk June 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I rode on that section a few days ago when it was still open…that is one scary land slide…I was coming around the corner and then there just is a sheer drop of about 15ft…had to ride back past it on the way back to the car!

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  • KWW June 17, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    dam those pedestrians!

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  • Hack June 17, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Wow 15 foot drop? More slides will make that singletrack. Friggen Obama

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  • Practical Man June 18, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    Putting up a barrier to prevent someone from going into the hole, plus a bunch of orange/reflective cones, and some warning signs is all that is needed to allow people to keep using it. Neck it down to a one lane so they stay back from the edge. Cut some bushes and push the trail back into the bushes if that is necessary. Closing the trail for such a minor problem is stupid.

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