Wide hiking trail options in the Portland region?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
johnspeth
Posts: 207
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

Re: Wide hiking trail options in the Portland region?

Post by johnspeth » July 2nd, 2020, 10:28 am

retired jerry wrote:
July 2nd, 2020, 8:56 am
Isn't there a rail to trail in Banks? I wonder how that would be.
Yes - the Banks/Vernonia state trail. I ride it from time to time because it's so close to my home. The segment from Banks to Buxton gets a lot of walkers but the trail is at least 10 feet wide so you have plenty of room to get by. The trail user density drops considerably north of Buxton. The big attraction is the Buxton RR bridge with a big parking lot adjacent to it. In past years summer perfect weather weekend trail usage can get high enough that I would personally avoid it due to covid.

johnspeth
Posts: 207
Joined: July 30th, 2013, 8:33 am

Re: Wide hiking trail options in the Portland region?

Post by johnspeth » July 2nd, 2020, 10:34 am

retired jerry wrote:
July 2nd, 2020, 8:03 am
Be prepared to change your plans and go somewhere else if it doesn't feel right. Even if it's just a drive in the car that beats hiding inside your home.
Good advice. I've had to recently abandon a couple of tries when I arrived at trail heads. Too many cars with people milling around the parking lot. It forced me to really think the plan out before heading out in my car.

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teachpdx
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Joined: January 21st, 2014, 4:45 pm
Location: Hillsboro, OR

Re: Wide hiking trail options in the Portland region?

Post by teachpdx » July 2nd, 2020, 12:27 pm

I've been doing plenty of hiking, but mostly on less-popular trails.
I was on the Ape Canyon trail a couple of weeks ago (which doesn't have too many places to step off the trail), and there were quite a few people coming down while we were going up... maybe around 20 over the 4.5 miles. I carried a mask in my pocket and donned it for each group we passed. Only 5 of the other 20 we saw were wearing masks.

I think it's much less about the width, and just finding a trail that's not overrun with people.
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squidvicious
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Joined: May 11th, 2015, 8:41 pm
Location: Troutdale

Re: Wide hiking trail options in the Portland region?

Post by squidvicious » July 2nd, 2020, 12:54 pm

johnspeth wrote:
July 2nd, 2020, 10:34 am
I've had to recently abandon a couple of tries when I arrived at trail heads. Too many cars with people milling around the parking lot. It forced me to really think the plan out before heading out in my car.
True, but it's more than just what it looks like when you get there. Anything that's easy to get to and/or that your average non-hiker has ever heard of before can get bad fast. I've had some terrible experiences lately with trails that were empty when I showed up early in the morning on a wet, socked-in, no-view day... only to be completely overrun by the time I'd turned back for the car. Weirdly I'm seeing more people in large groups than usual, and not a few of them seem like they've never been hiking before and wouldn't know from trail etiquette at the best of times, let alone covid precautions.

The absolute worst was at Silver Falls a couple weeks ago. Obviously that was never going to be a lonely hike, but midweek, early, iffy weather, I thought I would have a shot at squeezing in the spring hike I'd missed. Holy cow, no. By the end everyone was in huge groups, and forget giving a wide berth. They wouldn't even move to single file--people would just walk straight into you. By Lower South Falls I had to stop stepping off the trail to let people pass, because I had safety concerns about getting knocked into the canyon.

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retired jerry
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Re: Wide hiking trail options in the Portland region?

Post by retired jerry » July 2nd, 2020, 1:11 pm

I've been on several trails where I passed 5 or 10 groups during a day

I carried a mask but left it in my pack

I was more than 6 feet away, outside, very brief encounter, they didn't sneeze or cough - I think that's good enough

Doesn't hurt to put on mask though, I don't think we as a population are taking this seriously enough, mistakes have overwhelmingly under rather than over react

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