Newell Creek Canyon Nature park

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Don Nelsen
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Newell Creek Canyon Nature park

Post by Don Nelsen » December 14th, 2021, 12:56 pm

We were looking for at least a little hike but not willing to invest too much in time or resources due to the threat of rain. Kel did some research and found the brand-new Newell Creek Nature Park in Oregon City.

Set in a mostly mature forest of maple, alder, fir and cedar this delightful trail system fit the bill for an urban hike on a rainy day. The trails are mostly gravel covered (with a few muddy spots), nicely graded and wide. There are 4 or 5 well-constructed bridges where needed and even a waterfall to enjoy.

At the small parking area is a restroom facility and along the routes are some picnic tables and a few benches. Part of the system has some nice bike-only trails too. We hiked those too since no bikes were out last Sunday.

We hiked a clock-wise outside loop so covered everything but a short section of one of the bike routes with hardly any repeats. It came to 3.2 miles and just over 600' EG.

The map, and a few photos:
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Last edited by Don Nelsen on December 15th, 2021, 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Everything works in the planning stage".

datura
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Re: Newell Creek Canyon Nature park

Post by datura » December 14th, 2021, 1:42 pm

Some of the dirt trails (as opposed to gravel-covered trails) are very muddy indeed, and also a bit slippery! Of course it was raining heavily when we were there. We didn't realize how muddy the trails would be or we might not have walked them (the park rules suggest that one stay off the trails following heavy rain events).

We saw some deer prints, not too surprising but still a nice indicator. The park was wonderfully clear of ivy and blackberries -- someone has done a LOT of work there. Given the park's location, it is within earshot of traffic noise though it's not too bad most of the time. The wind and rain masked most of it.

It is a very pleasant park overall. I'll return there for more quick walks.

What is the etiquette for walking the bike-only trails? I'd like to see the scenery on those trails, too, plus it makes for a possible loop on the Tumble Falls and Cedar Grove trails rather than a simple out-and-back. Will we get in trouble if we walk the trail, and is there easy room to jump off the trail when bikes come by?

I'm looking forward to visiting the other recently-opened metro park at Chehalem Ridge.

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bobcat
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Re: Newell Creek Canyon Nature park

Post by bobcat » December 15th, 2021, 8:36 am

I went to Newell Creek Canyon last week, the day after the official opening. There were a few couples on the trails and quite a few moms with small kids - nice to see. The Canyon Spring Loop, a hiker-only trail, is very slick and muddy in places. The Tumble Falls and Cedar Grove trails are wide and graveled. I especially liked the Cedar Grove Trail, which the Tumble Falls Trail grades in to - some nice copses of cedars with a couple of distinctive candelabra trees. The other trails are biker-only trails. Bikers can only descend these trails and then ride up the Cedar Grove and Tumble Falls trails. There is quite a bit of traffic noise from Highway 213 across the canyon, but you can't see it. Don's photos about capture it. There will be forest wildflowers in the spring and a great maple display in the fall (which perhaps is the main attraction on the Canyon Springs Trail).

The last time I was at Newell Creek was three and a half years ago. There were only rough user trails then, no fancy bridges, and many encampments had just been evacuated (notices posted on trees) with a lot of trash lying about. However, a couple of people had crept back in and set up tents. For decades, full garbage bags, furniture + other large items, and tires had been dumped over the bluff. That has all been cleaned up. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it that way.

As for "etiquette" on the biker-only trails - no harm in hiking them, I guess, if you're clairvoyant and know no one will be bombing down. They won't be expecting pedestrians, though, so it's totally on you if there's a nasty encounter.

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Waffle Stomper
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Re: Newell Creek Canyon Nature park

Post by Waffle Stomper » December 15th, 2021, 10:15 am

Looks like a nice local park to visit. Thanks for the share.
"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." - John Muir

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adamschneider
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Re: Newell Creek Canyon Nature park

Post by adamschneider » December 15th, 2021, 1:57 pm

I added the new trails to OpenStreetMap... not that anyone was going to get lost in there. :)

NCCNP.jpg

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Chip Down
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Re: Newell Creek Canyon Nature park

Post by Chip Down » December 15th, 2021, 6:09 pm

Don Nelsen wrote:
December 14th, 2021, 12:56 pm
We were looking for at least a little hike but not willing to invest too much in time or resources due to the threat of rain.
Sure, had nothing to do with the 3pm start, right? ;)

This sounds like something I'd do on a weekday, but being a working stiff again, that seems unlikely.

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BigBear
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Re: Newell Creek Canyon Nature park

Post by BigBear » December 16th, 2021, 11:53 am

Thanks for the heads up on the muddy trails after the rains.

Didn't know there were bike-only trails, but now that I look closer at the map I see the one-way paths on the south side of the map are for bikes only. It is a good question on etiquette since I've encountered horses on non-horse trails, bikes on hiker-only trails, motorcycles on hiker-only trails, dogs and a bike on the refuge trails which specifically prohibit them, and the latest, ebikes on trails that prohibit ebikes. I'm guessing no one is out there actually enforcing it (or any of the other prohibited uses on various trails), but your liability in a accident would be higher if you are on a trail you aren't supposed to be. It's like a car or bike hitting you on a sidewalk, they basically assume full liability for injuries.

This situation of conflicting use will likely be a greater issue when the sun and warmth return, pushing more people to be out-and-about. The more users, the more chances of something going wrong if you are pedaling in the wrong direction or not running fast enough if a bike is bombing down a hill.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Newell Creek Canyon Nature park

Post by Don Nelsen » December 16th, 2021, 12:16 pm

Chip Down wrote:
December 15th, 2021, 6:09 pm
Don Nelsen wrote:
December 14th, 2021, 12:56 pm
We were looking for at least a little hike but not willing to invest too much in time or resources due to the threat of rain.
Sure, had nothing to do with the 3pm start, right? ;)

This sounds like something I'd do on a weekday, but being a working stiff again, that seems unlikely.
Ha! Yeah, this retirement thing is so good!!

You have a job! :shock: My sympathies.

Merry Christmas,

dn
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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