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 Post subject: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 25th, 2017, 6:39 pm 
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Green Friday! With some of my favorite winter hikes in the Gorge closed indefinitely, I've been reaching out to places that have been on my to-do list for awhile. The Riverside Trail fit the bill -- I followed the trail west from the Riverside Trailhead to the high point near the Oak Grove Fork confluence, then retraced my steps for a short afternoon hike. Also did some trail work on a switchback that needed some TLC. Lots of people on the trail for this time of year -- I passed maybe 15-20, total? Trail note: there's a big log down right at the Riverside Trailhead -- blocks both the spur to the trailhead and the Riverside Trail to the south. Easy enough to crawl over, but certainly no hop-over!

Some photos of the trip, starting with Tag Creek:

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Winter-green forests along the Clackamas River:

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A few fall colors, of you look down! Also, shrooms and lichens, everywhere...

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As soon as the sun dropped behind the high ridges, fog rolled up the canyon, making for some really mysterious scenes...

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The water was high enough that the summer beaches were all but underwater, but it's a nice time of year to appreciate the power of the Clackamas River!

Tom :)

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 Post subject: Re: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 26th, 2017, 2:32 am 
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This was the first hike I ever did back when I was 16. I'd just got my license, began exploring and realized that there actually were other options for a trailer park kid from Estacada other than becoming a barfly or methhead :lol: It's a big world out there and the woods really help put things in perspective. I still venture out at least once a year. It would be really neat if they connected the Clackamas river trail and riverside trails somehow! Great hike Tom and awesome photos as always!
~Dan


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 Post subject: Re: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 26th, 2017, 9:00 pm 
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Thanks, Dan! I'm of like mind on the Clackamas River trails, too. You've probably noticed the "Trail 564" that shows up on the USGS maps upstream from Indian Henry CG. This was apparently a planned trail in the 1970s or early 1980s, when the 7.5 minute maps were being updated, but sadly it was never built. The odd part is that the trail number is the same as the Rhododendron Ridge Trail, though I've read at least a couple of confirming accounts that this was a real proposal - not just a map error.

BTW, I'm planning to include a new trail from the east end of the Indian Henry Bridge to Alder Flat (3.5 miles) and a second segment from the Alder Flat Loop to Rainbow CG (0.5 mile) and finally from Riverside CG to River Ford CG (0.5 mile) as part of a trails vision we're working on with TKO and the National Forest Foundation. I like the older vision for this trail better (on the opposite bank) for its distance from the highways, but practically speaking, it's much easier to stitch together some of the existing links and make use of the Indian Henry Bridge. This would complete a trail from Fish Creek to the Collowash, which starts to look like the "National Recreation Trail" that it's supposed to be! Definitely in the longer term, though.

Tom :)

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 Post subject: Re: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 27th, 2017, 11:29 am 
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Tom,

Beautiful photos! That's a hike I've never done so thanks for posting.

Don

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 Post subject: Re: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 27th, 2017, 7:47 pm 
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Thanks, Don! You'd be a natural for this area -- few trails (not a constraint for you!) but lots of interesting stuff hiding out in the forest. It's a lot like the Gifford Pinchot.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 27th, 2017, 9:33 pm 
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Very nice photos, Tom. We've been out there too, and even saw you taking mushroom pictures - I wondered if it was you. The river was wild, easily 3x times more water than usual! Great day to be outdoors :)

Attachment:
File comment: There was sun early on, but changed to fog before sunset. The river was loud like a waterfall, and very different color than the clear blue it usually is
DSC_6709.JPG
DSC_6709.JPG [ 837.16 KiB | Viewed 580 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 28th, 2017, 7:44 am 
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Splintercat wrote:
You've probably noticed the "Trail 564" that shows up on the USGS maps upstream from Indian Henry CG. This was apparently a planned trail in the 1970s or early 1980s, when the 7.5 minute maps were being updated, but sadly it was never built. The odd part is that the trail number is the same as the Rhododendron Ridge Trail, though I've read at least a couple of confirming accounts that this was a real proposal - not just a map error.


The story I've heard is that it was part of something called "Urban link", and was something that never was funded beyond feasibility/planning. I'd still consider it a mapping error though. Maps are supposed to show conditions on the ground, not "plans". It is amazing how that trail persists even on more current maps. Still don't know where the 564 came from, though. Maybe it was originally intended to hook up to Rho Ridge as a much longer "thru" trail?

Splintercat wrote:
BTW, I'm planning to include a new trail from the east end of the Indian Henry Bridge to Alder Flat (3.5 miles) and a second segment from the Alder Flat Loop to Rainbow CG (0.5 mile) and finally from Riverside CG to River Ford CG (0.5 mile) as part of a trails vision we're working on with TKO and the National Forest Foundation. I like the older vision for this trail better (on the opposite bank) for its distance from the highways, but practically speaking, it's much easier to stitch together some of the existing links and make use of the Indian Henry Bridge. This would complete a trail from Fish Creek to the Collowash, which starts to look like the "National Recreation Trail" that it's supposed to be! Definitely in the longer term, though.


Personally, I think the older vision is the one worth pursuing. One thing I've never liked about the CRT is that you hear the road on a large portion of the trail. If the planned router of the "564" were ever built, a large part of it would be outside of earshot/view of Hwy 224/Rd 46 and go thru some really interesting territory. If you are going to go to all the effort of advocating for a new trail (which is difficult in and of itself), why not advocate for what you TRULY want, instead of settling for what is "easy"? Just a thought....

The first time I saw that "phantom" trail, I thought it would be a cool hike. When I found out it was never built, I was very disappointed.

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 Post subject: Re: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 28th, 2017, 6:02 pm 
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Thanks, Rob! My heart is with the west side alignment, too... but after working with the USFS for the past several years, even connecting the dots on the east side will be a challenge. I haven't really organized it, but the big concept for the Clackamas vision that I'm working on is further upstream, on the Collawash, so I'm putting our eggs in that basket for the long term, with several short/smaller projects in the near term.

This map is too small for most to make anything of it, but you know the country well, Rob: the Collawash concept is for a new trailhead at the Forest Road 63 crossing upstream from the Hot Springs Fork. From here, a new, roughly 8-mile river trail would follow the Collawash to Elk Lake Creek, connecting to Trail No. 559. The Dickey Creek Trail, No. 553, would also be extended to follow the stream to the new Collawash Trail.

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Still a work in progress, but the goal would be more miles of low-elevation, year-round river/stream hiking, a large backpacking loop via Welcome Lakes and Big Slide Lake and a Bull of the Woods Wilderness trailhead on a paved, easily accessed road for those not able/inclined to navigate logging spurs (which the USFS is increasingly unable to maintain). Much of the new trail would be inside wilderness, so this would be a lot to bite off, but something that would be a major new way to hikers to experience the Bull of the Woods. One of the larger goals in providing year-round trails is to have a much stronger positive recreation presence in the Clackamas District to counter the illegal activities that are rampant there -- shooters, squatters and dumpers go where they won't be seen, so this is definitely an "eyes on the forest" strategy.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 28th, 2017, 6:46 pm 
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Interesting idea, Tom. And there is some beautiful country along that route. Will be interested to see what happens with it.

As the forest service continues to ignore its roads, it would be great to see them return to their roots - having trails criscrossing the forest - now THAT would make for some awesome backpack loops!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Green Friday on the Riverside Trail (Nov 24)
 Post Posted: November 28th, 2017, 6:54 pm 
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Agreed! And beyond the minimal environmental impact, they're a lot less expensive to maintain, too! :)

Tom

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