I've always thought the Alder Flat area wasn't really used until the trail was built in in the mid '60s. However, after looking at old maps I see that the area has been known about and used for some time. The 1946 MHNF map shows the camp teepee symbol with the words "Alder Flat". 1935 MHNF map shows a trail heading towards that general vacinity, as does the 1916 Estacada map.
I can only speculate that the area was used by fishermen to get to the Clackamas, and probably by natives before that. The maps however, are somewhat vague. There has also been a lot of human impact in the Ripplebrook area, so it's sometimes difficult to remove the layers of history that have occured. There also appears to be an old trail about 1/2 mile from the parking lot; perhaps this is the old route shown on the maps?
Does anyone have any more information on historical human use around Alder Flat?
I found this interesting snippet on the internet:
|Re: "C" fishing Report and Questions|
JUST A NOTE OF HISTORY FOR ALL YOU YOUNG WHIPPER SNAPPERS! I was an eager boy scout back on the clackamas in 1963 at Alder Flat campground. You could see huge schools of 12-18" trout circling in the pools right there in the summer. We used eggs and worms and slaughtered everything. Now that was unenlightened! We had a contest to see who could catch the largest trout: 18" as I recall. I beleive these were native fish. So the Clackamas CAN support large fish and populations, but that is UP TO US. And we are obviously our own worst enemy! I only tell you this so you will know the Clackamas was a DREAM river with many wonderful stories. Education will be the key. There is always hope for the future!
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