trails

Guest post: Portland’s regional path network inspired other cities, now let’s heed their progress

by on June 15th, 2018 at 10:06 am

It’s not the Esplanade, it’s the Philadelphia skyline and Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk seen from the South Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River.
(All images courtesy Metro)

Written by Metro Parks and Nature Department Senior Planner Robert Spurlock. Robert is also a member of the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee and the Oregon Recreation Trails Advisory Council. This post first appeared on Metro’s Outside Voice blog.

A thriving metropolis at the confluence of two major rivers.

A world class bike path in the heart of the city, built over the water to bypass a tangled mess of highways and train tracks that had historically cut off the city from its river.
[Read more…]

Guest post: Virginia’s Creeper Trail offers an inspiring model for the Salmonberry

by on February 28th, 2018 at 9:49 am

The Whitetip Station along the Creeper Trail.
(Photos by Tom Howe)

This guest post is by Tom Howe, the man behind the Puddlecycle ride series. His last post was about biking to the solar eclipse.

“If you had told me at that time that those tracks would one day be a bike path with 250,000 riders annually, I wouldn’t have believed it.”

The Salmonberry Trail is a project that will make use of a derelict rail line from the current end of the Banks-Vernonia Trail all the way to the Oregon coast. The trail has been in the planning stages for a long time, but if Virginia’s experience with the state’s 34-mile Creeper Trail is any indication, Oregon would do well to complete the Salmonberry sooner rather than later.

Back in the 1980s, the Virginia Creeper was itself an abandoned rail line that the US Forest Service decided to make into a recreation trail. Given the very rural nature of the area, this idea was met with some skepticism, but the trail has become wildly successful beyond anyone’s expectations. The trail holds special significance to me, as I once lived in Abingdon just a few blocks from the abandoned rail line. As neighborhood kids, we’d go over to the tracks and walk over the high trestles as a foolish/daring/scary thing to do. The only thing I ever saw on the tracks was a Drasine – a motorized vehicle about the size of an automobile.

If you had told me at that time that those tracks would one day be a bike path with 250,000 riders annually, I wouldn’t have believed it. That figure is over 25 times the combined populations of the two towns along the trail – Abingdon and Damascus. Trail-related tourism is estimated at $25 million per year, and each overnight visitor spends about $700 in the area.
[Read more…]

Travel Oregon mulls need for statewide trails advocacy organization

by on October 28th, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Portland to Stub Stewart family camping trip-30.jpg

The Banks-Vernonia trail is one of Oregon’s riding gems. Would we have more trails like it with a new advocacy approach?
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Community advocates and government agency staffers throughout Oregon are working hard to develop world-class trails. But is that work failing to reach its potential without a statewide trails advocacy organization?[Read more…]

Good news: Tesla agrees to build Willamette Greenway path segment

by on June 6th, 2016 at 11:59 am

Latest plan drawing shows where the new path will go (in blue, existing path is in red).

They didn’t have to do it, but they did.

I’m happy to report that Tesla Motors has decided to pave a new section of the Willamette Greenway path that runs across a parcel they plan to develop in the South Waterfront neighborhood.
[Read more…]

Supreme Court’s rail-trail ruling: What does it mean for Oregon?

by on March 11th, 2014 at 12:46 pm

Family trip to Stub Stewart State Park-39-39

A Supreme Court ruling could open the door
for lawsuits from landowners adjacent to popular
rail-trails like the Banks-Vernonia State Trail.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on a rail-trail case — and the doomsday headlines that followed — have caused a lot of concern among people who love cycling on paths built atop former railroad corridors.

In Marvin M. Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States the court ruled 8-1 in favor of the trust, who claimed their rights to the now-abandoned railroad should be reinstated. Their land is slated to become part of the Medicine Bow Rail Trial and the federal government argued that they have rights to the trail easement based on a “reversionary interest” which should go into effect once the railroad was abandoned.
[Read more…]

Here’s a chance to make East County bike touring even better

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 25th, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-41

The Columbia Gorge is only the first stop for
“destination biking” east of Gresham.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Back in July, we wrote that a big recreational biking upgrade is in the works for east Multnomah County. A pair of public “studio workshops” next month will shape its direction.

People at the free workshops — a seven-hour one Nov. 13 at Troutale’s Edgefield McMenamin’s and a four-hour one Nov. 14 at the Corbett Fire House — will get to “identify assets, opportunities, and barriers to increasing bicycle tourism” in the region.

With a Travel Oregon study estimating that 15 percent of tourism in the Gorge/Mount Hood area is already bike-related, the area’s business leaders see big potential for improving things further.

[Read more…]

September meetings will help plan Salmonberry Corridor Rail Trail

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on August 28th, 2013 at 9:56 am

Vernonia Overnighter

A proposed Salmonberry trail would link to the existing
Banks-Vernonia Trail 25 miles northwest of Portland.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

A proposed 86-mile rail-to-trail project that would link Washington County to the Pacific Coast is the subject of two public meetings next month at either end of the future route.

The trail, whose cost would run into the tens of millions, has attracted early attention from touring organization Cycle Oregon and important legislators like state Sen. Betsey Johnson (D-Scappoose), who said in an interview last year that a trail through the Salmonberry River Valley would open up “some of the most beautiful land anywhere” to personal travel.

“I used to go up there before I was a legislator, when I had a life,” Johnson said.

[Read more…]

Why bicycling isn’t allowed on a new off-street path in Clackamas County

by on July 10th, 2013 at 1:30 pm

The newly completed Rosemont Trail, a paved path that connects downtown Lake Oswego to West Linn in Clackamas County, should be cause for celebration — except for that fact that bicycling is banned on about half of its entire length.

After The Oregonian covered this story yesterday, we got several emails from readers who were disturbed by this lack of bicycle access. The ban is especially unfortunate given that the adjacent Rosemont Road is a narrow, high-speed thoroughfare without wide shoulders for bicycling on. According to The Oregonian, many people expected the path to allow bicycling, and there is considerable consternation now that it doesn’t. Hoping to better understand the background and context of this project, we reached out to Clackamas County and the group who paid for and created the trail, The Columbia Land Trust.[Read more…]

Stars aligning for a bike tourism boom in the Mt. Hood area

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 3rd, 2013 at 11:08 am

Sandy Ridge loop-5

Riders scope out routes at Sandy Ridge, a popular trail-riding
destination built specifically for mountain biking.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Nobody in Oregon gets more of its tourist dollar from bikes than the Mount Hood region, and people in eastern Multnomah and Clackamas counties are taking notice.

Whatever happens in the controversy about a planned mountain bike park near Timberline Lodge, the area seems to be thinking more and more about biking. Consider a few elements:
[Read more…]

Metro to host Regional Trails Fair tomorrow

by on May 7th, 2013 at 10:17 am

This old rail corridor deep in the Tillamook
Forest will someday be a biking and
walking path.
(Photo: Salmonberry Corridor
Preliminary Feasibility Report)

The third annual Regional Trails Fair will be held tomorrow at Metro headquarters from 1:00 to 3:30 pm. The event will bring together more than 35 trail advocacy organizations and government agencies to share the latest updates on trail projects throughout the Portland region. And there’s a lot to talk about!

Did you know there’s a major effort underway (with support from Oregon Parks & Recreation) to create a new rail-trail that would connect the town of Banks to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast? The Salmonberry Trail, which won a $100,000 planning grant from Cycle Oregon last year, would allow riders to travel 85 miles through the Tillamook Forest without ever seeing a car.

There’s also the recently renamed Ice Age Tonquin Trail which has already been partially built and has ambitious plans to connect Tualatin to Wilsonville via a 22-mile path. [Read more…]