Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
User avatar
bobcat
Posts: 2479
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by bobcat » April 16th, 2022, 1:12 pm

Spending part of a 1995 bond measure, Metro acquired four properties in the North Tualatin Mountains: Ennis Creek (350 acres), Burlington Creek (339 acres), McCarthy Creek (403 acres), and North Abbey Creek (211 acres). All of these properties were logged and replanted in the early 1990s. It’s been about 10 years since I checked out the first two, so I took a quick excursion on Passover/Good Friday. I was alone in both places, and in both, the aftereffects of Monday’s snowstorm necessitated numerous workarounds of downed trees, especially of alders already leafed out and maples in full bloom.

The Burlington Creek property is approached via McNamee Road, off Highway 30. You pass under a railroad trestle, now a “troll bridge” with a gazillion pink-haired trolls inhabiting its scaffolds. I parked to the side in front of a gate with Metro signage, mainly emphasizing the prohibition on dogs. The 3 ½ mile route is all on logging/maintenance roads that take you up to the Forest Park Conservancy’s Ancient Forest and then higher before returning more or less along the powerline corridor. The highlight is the Ancient Forest and its active bald eagle nest. There is a short loop trail into the forest, but this is closed when the eagles are there. In April, they are certainly there and a very vocal bunch they are. The two parents are flapping back and forth bringing choice morsels for their ravenous and clamoring young, while other bald eagles perform Mafia style raids in the air attempting to hijack the precious morsels. You can see the nest, right at the top of an old-growth Douglas-fir, once you pass over Burlington Creek on the road and then look back. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my telephoto lens.

Trailhead, Burlington Creek.jpg
Metro pet signs, Burlington Creek.jpg
Horsetails (Equisetum arvense), Burlington Creek.jpg
Red elderberry, Burlington Creek.jpg
Burlington Creek at the Ancient Forest, Burlington Creek.jpg
Looking into the ancient forest, Burlington Creek.jpg
Bald eagle at nest, Burlington Creek.jpg
View to Sauvie Island, Burlington Creek.jpg
Pacific dogwood in flower, Burlington Creek.jpg

Metro has this property, as well as the one at McCarthy Creek, slated for “improvements” such as more trails and a paved parking area with restrooms.

Ennis Creek is accessed right off Newberry Road. There’s a No Parking sign at the pullout just below the gated logging road, so you have park in another pullout about 60 yards down. The walk follows an old logging track over the south fork and then the main fork of Ennis Creek, passing through 30-year plantation Douglas-firs and also deciduous woodland. At a junction on a ridge, I took a narrow, soggy tread uphill, passing over patches of snow until I reached the Metro boundary at about 800 feet where four old tracks converge in a grassy “meadow.” There are no views, but I saw tracks of elk and coyote.

Pullout on Newberry Road, Ennis Creek.jpg
Gate for Ennis Creek.jpg
Red flowering currant, Ennis Creek.jpg
Old logging track, Ennis Creek.jpg
Small waterfall on Ennis Creek.jpg
Trillium, Ennis Creek.jpg
Nesting box on maple, Ennis Creek.jpg
Grassy junction, end of trail, Ennis Creek.jpg

There is no development slated for this property (parking would be an issue), but both Ennis and Burlington are part of a plan for a “Pacific Greenway’’ – a city to coast trail concept. Between them lies Knife River’s Angell Quarry, so an easement or property exchange would have to be effected there.

User avatar
jalepeno
Posts: 148
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: far north Forest Park

Re: Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by jalepeno » April 18th, 2022, 9:33 pm

Metro went through a lengthy public meeting program concerning the McNamee property. This property was purchased with public money to save habitat and wild creatures. Anecdotal testimony of neighbors who live near the forest revealed that it is the home of bear, cougar, elk, coyote and eagles. Metro chose to disregard this testimony. They refused to conduct a wildlife study and told us they had other plans for the property. They pushed for creating a mountain bike adventure park with parking area and restrooms. Metro proposed cutting "technical" bike trails. We were told that mountain bikers were less disturbing to wildlife than hikers or runners!

Several years ago at the conclusion of the public planning meetings, the next step was that a final decision needed to be OK'ed by the Metro council. While this has never been decided, those of us who live near the forest remain vigilant concerning Metro's plans. We want the Burlington forest to remain a quiet refuge close to the city, not an adventure park.

User avatar
Charley
Posts: 1685
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Southeast Portland

Re: Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by Charley » April 19th, 2022, 8:27 pm

jalepeno wrote:
April 18th, 2022, 9:33 pm
Metro went through a lengthy public meeting program concerning the McNamee property.
For those who are interested in planning for the McNamee property (Metro calls it the Burlington Property), you can find more information here:
https://bikeportland.org/2015/11/17/fir ... ark-168506

In short, Metro proposed a small network of trails, including using existing gravel roads, which would be open to bicycle use. I must disagree with the intentionally inflammatory characterization of the plan as a "mountain bike adventure park with parking area and restrooms."
  • Calling it a "mountain bike adventure park" makes it sound like Metro is building some kind of gated park for bikes only. In fact, the trails were to be open to hikers as well (it's not a mountain bike park, it's just... a park)
  • To call it an "adventure park" is to associate it not with other parks we may know and love, but rather things like zipline concessions or water parks, which of course wouldn't make sense in this location
  • I also find it odd to single out the inclusion of innocuous amenities such as parking area and restroom. There are parking areas and restrooms throughout our National Parks and Monuments, and on the borders of most Wilderness Area ... adding one by US 30 hardly seems worthy of such disdain. But maybe that's because the wrong kinds of people would be using it?
  • The comment, "Metro proposed cutting "technical" bike trails" makes it sound like they'll be using some painful surgery on the land ("cutting,") in order to create some kind of anti-natural, mechanical trail. That sounds awful! Well, it really just means a normal, narrow trail: "cutting" as in "benchcut" trail, (in which the trail contours along a slope- https://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/pubs/htmlpubs ... page08.htm), and "technical" just means not a road grade: rolling, not flat, curvy, not straight, narrow not wide. It takes technique to ride such a trail on a bike, as opposed to the simple process of riding a road. In other words, every person who has ever hiked in the PNW has hiked a trail that was "cut" and is "technical" (to a mountain bike rider). So I'd rate this description as an inflammatory exaggeration, as well.
As opposed to an "adventure park," the plan for the McNamee property sounds a lot like other parks around town, like Forest Park and Powell Butte Nature Park, both of which have networks of trails that are open to pedestrians and bike riders.

It's totally understandable that, given the area is undeveloped and uninviting (it's a public wild area- but good luck finding out how to access it, or where to go when you arrive; it's buried in a 112 page pdf from 2016) many locals have been enjoying it as practically a private park for years! I probably would want to keep outsiders away, so I could continue to enjoy access to this gem of green, unimpeded by the aggravation of seeing annoying people from Portland, who never bothered to simply buy a house in this neighborhood, seeking solace in the public lands their tax dollars paid to protect. Maintain vigilance, lest the purity of the forest be sullied by those who would dare ride bicycles on public pathways!

Webfoot
Posts: 1646
Joined: November 25th, 2015, 11:06 am
Location: Troutdale

Re: Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by Webfoot » April 20th, 2022, 9:50 am

Image

User avatar
jalepeno
Posts: 148
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: far north Forest Park

Re: Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by jalepeno » April 20th, 2022, 11:44 am

First, the BikePortland website hardly provides a neutral discussion of bikes in Burlington Forest. The personal invective in the comments directed at neighbors is quite stunning. To counter the BPDX arguments, I'd suggest looking at the other side: https://saveforestparkcorridor.wordpress.com

Second, gravel logging roads on the property are perfectly fine places to ride a mountain bike. In fact, I have ridden them on my mountain bike. We object to creating new trails through habitat of threatened creatures.

Third, concerning our objections to the parking lot- to access the site from Highway 30, one needs to drive a half mile up McNamee Rd. McNamee is a country road that narrows to one lane where it curves under a railroad trestle. Creating a destination bike park would increase traffic past a very dangerous place that MultCo has told us it has no intent to fix.

Contrary to Charley's belief that the neighbors are elitists- hikers, bird watchers, runners and even mountain bikers are welcome by us to enjoy the solace of this special place. It is just thirteen miles from downtown, was logged in the early '90's and is in the process of returning to some semblance of wild.

wildcat
Posts: 73
Joined: September 14th, 2021, 4:48 pm
Location: CN85RP

Re: Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by wildcat » April 20th, 2022, 4:52 pm

The Bikeportland comments sections and BBS, generally, suck ass. Once in a great while somebody will get on there and actually say something useful or worthwile that makes you stop and think, but mostly they kind of make one pause to weep for Portland's future (and maybe humanity as a whole). The level of vitriol, tribalist arrogance and general stupidity on display there makes it run a close second to most Youtube comment sections.

On the other hand, that one dude's putting the fire truck horn on his bike is rad as f***. Respect. :D
But I KNOW it's true! I read it on the Internet!
Potassium nitrate: 60% discount off potassium dayrate (70% 8PM Friday-6AM Monday).

Bikes and alcohol never mix. Drunk riding is drunk driving. Don't drink and ride.

User avatar
Charley
Posts: 1685
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Southeast Portland

Re: Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by Charley » April 20th, 2022, 10:31 pm

jalepeno wrote:
April 20th, 2022, 11:44 am
First, the BikePortland website hardly provides a neutral discussion of bikes in Burlington Forest. The personal invective in the comments directed at neighbors is quite stunning.
Portland often gives home-owning "neighbors" a veto over socially beneficial amenities like parks, trails, bike lanes, as as well as necessities like housing, homeless shelters, etc. Long-time mountain bike advocates in Portland will be unsurprised at the town's inability to address the housing shortage and the resulting homelessness crisis: we've seen good plans tanked by nearby property owners too many times over the years.

The fact that solutions have remain tied up by connected landowners is galling to many of us, and results in invective, as ineffective as that is. There are always local people who stand against any kind of development in their neighborhood, because they don't want to lose out on their perceived share of precious public resources like trail solitude, on-street parking, faster commutes, etc.

Conservatism is a real and noble thing! But our civic politics have bent to the will of conservative neighborhood associations and local homeowners for too many years, and the result is waste and stagnation. Millions of dollars are spent on planning for doomed projects, and the ones that make it through the ringer take years to finish. It all ends up being too little, far too late. Of course that engenders ill will.
jalepeno wrote:
April 20th, 2022, 11:44 am
We object to creating new trails through habitat of threatened creatures.
So, your anti-trail, period? No new trails anywhere there is "habitat of threatened creatures"? That's everywhere!

I can see why you only mentioned mountain bike trails in your comment, because advocating against all trail building would be a pretty radical position to share on a hiking forum run by the TKO. "The heart of TKO’s mission is our effort to build, restore and maintain hiking trails across the state..."
jalepeno wrote:
April 20th, 2022, 11:44 am
Third, concerning our objections to the parking lot- to access the site from Highway 30, one needs to drive a half mile up McNamee Rd. McNamee is a country road that narrows to one lane where it curves under a railroad trestle. Creating a destination bike park would increase traffic past a very dangerous place that MultCo has told us it has no intent to fix.
Again with the exaggeration: calling it a "destination bike park" makes it sound like Metro is going to re-create Whistler Mountain Bike Park on a one lane road.
jalepeno wrote:
April 20th, 2022, 11:44 am
Contrary to Charley's belief that the neighbors are elitists- hikers, bird watchers, runners and even mountain bikers are welcome by us to enjoy the solace of this special place.
"[W]elcome by us" just proves my point: you live in a Shangri-la, and, out of the generosity of you heart, you've deigned to allow city people to come enjoy you neighborhood. How kind of you!

It's not your park though! You don't decide who is welcome and who is not welcome! You cannot "welcome" me into a public park- the park is just as much mine as it is yours, even if I live down here off of Powell Boulevard.

Can you see why such an attitude would rub someone wrong? Taxpayers from all over the region have paid up for conservation and park access. You might have the privilege of living in the neighborhood, but I hope you can see that people who can't afford rural property might be rubbed wrong when their efforts to increase public recreation activities are met with this kind of patrician attitude!

Also, if these people are welcome, where are they supposed to park? You just stated your opposition to the plan for public parking. How welcome are they, really, if, as you're advocating, there's no parking place for people who don't live in the neighborhood? We can't all walk there from our nearby house in the hills!
jalepeno wrote:
April 20th, 2022, 11:44 am
It is just thirteen miles from downtown, was logged in the early '90's and is in the process of returning to some semblance of wild.
I'm glad this "habitat" is being restored, and I hope that Metro is able to convince voters to continue funding nature park purchases. But, again, let's not exaggerate this situation: Metro isn't razing old growth to install mega-thriller-shredmachine bikextravaganza. Metro is just planning to add a few miles of trails to a regrowing clearcut. Where else do you think people should ride???

I do not know your personal opinion on bike access in Forest Park, but I could make an educated guess. I've heard from anti-bike activists for years that the near-in trails in Forest Park are too crowded to safely allow mountain bikes, while the more distant areas of Forest Park are too ecologically precious to allow mountain bikes. They usually try not to mention both positions at the same time, because if you think about it for just a second, you'll realize that what they're really saying mountain bikes should not be welcomed anywhere. I disagree.

User avatar
Charley
Posts: 1685
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Southeast Portland

Re: Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by Charley » April 20th, 2022, 10:37 pm

Webfoot wrote:
April 20th, 2022, 9:50 am
Image
:lol: :lol: :lol:

wildcat
Posts: 73
Joined: September 14th, 2021, 4:48 pm
Location: CN85RP

Re: Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by wildcat » April 21st, 2022, 12:49 am

Yeah, but..... "rumbelleeee"?

Is that condition somehow related to "beerbelleeee"?
But I KNOW it's true! I read it on the Internet!
Potassium nitrate: 60% discount off potassium dayrate (70% 8PM Friday-6AM Monday).

Bikes and alcohol never mix. Drunk riding is drunk driving. Don't drink and ride.

User avatar
jalepeno
Posts: 148
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: far north Forest Park

Re: Burlington Creek and Ennis Creek 4-15-22

Post by jalepeno » April 21st, 2022, 5:22 am

Charley wrote:"Where else do you expect them to ride??"

A couple of miles further east on Highway 30 toward Scappoose is a mountain bike park in an old clear cut off Rocky Point Road. I suggest you check it out.

Post Reply