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New system of paths, trails would connect Springwater Corridor to Clackamas River

Posted by on April 10th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

These green spaces around Happy Valley would be
tied together with the newly proposed
Mt. Scott/Scouter Mt. Trail Loop.

Metro is prepping for the public unveiling of an exciting new network of paths that span from just south of the Powell Butte Nature Park all the way down to the Clackamas River. The Mt. Scott/Scouter Mt. Trail Loop is one of twenty “Connecting Green trail packages“ proposed by Metro’s Blue Ribbon Committee for Trails.

According to a document and maps released by Metro today, the plans call for a combination of paved multi-use paths as well as hiking and biking trails. In all, the network would encompass about 17 miles of paths winding around the city of Happy Valley and between a corridor bordered by the Springwater path, the I-205 multi-use path , SE 172nd Avenue and SE Sunnyside Road.

According to Metro, “the trail would serve transportation, commuter and recreational needs. The trail could also serve as a part of the area’s “Safe Routes to Schools” programs.”

Here’s a look at the proposed network (PDF here):

At this point, Metro and their regional partners are only in the planning stages. No funding has yet been identified to actually build the paths and trails or to purchase the easements and right-of-way necessary to make it happen. The draft master plan is slated to be finished by March of next year.

The first public open house to view the draft plans is set for June 7th from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at the Happy Valley City Hall (160000 SE Misty Drive). Stay tuned for more developments.

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CaptainKarma
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CaptainKarma

Of course this is wonderful. But I hope they come up with a different name for the Mt. Scott/Scouter Mt. trail. I’m not dyslexic now but may end up that way if they don’t!

Charley
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Charley

I’m all for this. But. . . I’d rather these agencies work with OR State Parks to prioritize the completion of the Cazadero Trail. It ***almost*** reaches the Clackamas River already. Unfortunately, the route dead ends at Camp Kuratli, a Salvation Army Camp which has thrown up fences and electronic barriers to keep people from riding through. As it stands, riding down that section of the Cazadero Trail is a one-way proposition. To riders’ great frustration, the dead end is onlya few hundred yards from linking up with Highway 224, which provides a river level, wide shouldered cruise down to the great riding around Estacada.

As things now stand, riding from Gresham to Estacada requires spending some time riding on narrow, curvy, and very steep farm roads that are nowadays full of fast, crowded suburban traffic. Amisigger Road is dangerous, Tickle Creek Road is quiet, but very climbing oriented (and requires a steep climb, on an un-shouldered section of crowded Highway 211- scary!), and 232nd requires climbing another un-shouldered steep road never intended for the suburban traffic volumes it now features (climbing at my limit is cool; climbing at my limit while being buzzed by exurban commuters and industrial farm trucks regularly is not cool).

The Cazadero Trail, when completed, would allow a gentle climb/descent on a good gravel surface that opens up miles of fun touring. The fact that it only requires several hundred yards of right of way (or rebuilding a trestle) should make it a regional priority.

Charley
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Charley

You can see here that Metro has had a “plan” of some sorts (click on the PDF link at the bottom the web page) since 2007. So. . . why are they spending time coming up with multi-million dollar plans for other projects while this project is worthy and waiting? I really admire the work that Metro and our other local agencies have done, but sometimes I think they are more in the habit of making proposals than finishing projects. All these ideas are great, so why do so many of them languish for years? Would it be better to focus the energy of our governments on one thing at a time and complete some projects quickly, rather than spending effort on coming up with new projects? Anyway, here’s the link: http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=24606

Charley
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Charley

Oh. . . and I wonder what the “pedestrian trails” on the above map would be like. There should be an opportunity for some mountain bike access. Considering how little access there is in the city, if we’re going to pay for a bunch of new trails in areas that are clearly not wilderness-oriented, why not open them up to bikes? That would be killing two birds with one stone.

Paul Johnson
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Paul Johnson

That could be neat. Hopefully they’re finding old rail alignments where possible; I do see a couple powerline alignments. The railroad alignments tend to actually be bike and hikeable as a transportation corridor, the powerline alignments tend to have no regard for terrain, making for some unbelievably steep climbs that tend to discourage travel. Compare the Springwater Corridor (even the steepest spots up towards Boring) to, say, the Westside Regional Trail near Tigard (which gets close to having walls that are more level), or the Waterhouse Powerlines Trail towards Morgan’s Run. If you don’t have a itty bitty chainring and a huge granny gear, and your name isn’t Thor, you’re not going to pedal up those grades.

Jim Labbe
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Jim Labbe

Thanks for covering this Jonathan. I did notice though that the link to the PDF above goes to a different map then the one shown. Is this a mistake?

The rate of work on the region’s trail system has definitely picked up speed from where it was a decade ago. Lots of exciting trail projects are afoot in this region thanks in to hard working citizen advocates and local government staff. We are lucky to have so many dedicated folks working on the regional trails plan.

There are lots of ways for folks who want to see more things happen faster to get involved and help.

Speaking of the Cazadero Trail, is construction of Boring Station Trailhead complete? I was scheduled for completion last fall but I have not heard anything?

Also, what’s the latest on the Trolley Trail? It was last scheduled to open in March but I have seen any updates.

Jim

Jim Labbe
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Jim Labbe

“There are lots of ways for folks who want to see more things happen faster to get involved and help. “…. for example: “The 2nd Annual Regional Trails Fair: Exploring the Intertwine” is next Wednesday April 25, 2012 at Metro (600 NE Grand). For more information contact Mel Hui at Metro 503-797-1731.

Doug Pratt
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Doug Pratt

Does anyone know whats going on along the abandoned Cazadero rail line between Barton and the Eagle Creek Bridge? It seems that there are road graders and a lot of gravel has been put down for a good road surface. Also, between each road crossing the Cazadero line, there are bollard posts that have been placed to prevent cars from driving along the right of way.
The begining of the gravel packed trail starts is about a block south of 224 on S.E. Bakers Ferry Road. So far, the gravel road has been put in all the way to the Eagle Creek/Sandy Highway 211. From that intersection all the way to Eagle Creek, the Cazadero right of way has been cleared but no gravel placed.
No one around the area seems to know who is doing the clearing and placement of gravel on the right of way. I’ve researched online and have found nothing there.

Doug Pratt
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Doug Pratt

I don’t see any articles on this webpage or the metro webpage on when the construction of the Cazadero Trail woud begin or the route; it only discusses the route from Barton to Boring through the Deep Creek area and the Salvation Army Camp. This grading project is from Barton towards Estacada. I live in Sherwood so am rarely out in that area.
A couple neigbors that I asked said they thought the electric company was putting in the gravel road so they could maintain the power lines.
I just emailed Metro asking them for the particulars on the project.
I went to Metallion Industries about a mile from Estacada on Friday (and the Cazadero Trail runs right in front of their place) and the guy whoe’s family owns the place didn’t know anything about it or what was going on. He said he noticed the grading/graveling going on a few miles down the road near the Eagle Creek Bridge. So if the locals don’t know whats going on, that tells me someone at Metro didn’t do a good job of publicizing it.

Doug Pratt
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Doug Pratt

A FYI
I got some information from Rocky Houston from the State of Oregon. Turns out this Cazadero State Trail is NOT a Metro project. The Oregon State Parks Department has jurisdiction from Boring to Estacada.
Rocky tells me the trail they are putting in now is 3.83 miles from Barton to Eagle Creek, the Boring to Barton segment is 4.0 miles. The last segment of the project is 3.5 miles from Eagle Creek to Estacada for a total of 11.33 miles from Boring to Estacada.
If anyone wants the one page cheat sheet on the project, send me your email address and I’ll send it to you.
Finally got the answer I was looking for.