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"Abandoned" Trails
Rob Williams
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06/14/2014 - 6:17 am
Member Since: 09/20/2009
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I compared the list of trails we have listed on this site to the "official" list on the FS website, and came up with what appears to be several trails which the FS has abandoned (many of these were on the official list only a few years ago):

  • Burnt Granite - this probably got abandoned (for the second time) after they decommissioned the "easy" road to it.  Now it takes a long detour to get to the trailhead.
  • Geronimo - this one is in danger of disappearing, especially since the fire a couple years ago.  It was faint before and I'm sure the fire wasn't kind to it.
  • Mt Lowe - this one probably sees a reasonable amount of traffic - it is a short trail to the old lookout site.
  • Olallie Butte (this one is probably not in danger of disappearing - it gets a fair amount of use)
  • Plaza Creek - this one gets VERY faint the closer you get to the Roaring River.
  • Pyramid Butte - this one is really sad - the trail is in EXCELLENT condition to the site of the old lookout, and there are fantastic views from this site.
  • Rho Creek - another really sad one - this trail was recovered by advocates several years ago, and even got new signage - it is a beautiful trail through several different types of forest - very unique.
  • Top Lake (this one really surprised me)

This list really surprised me, especially Top Lake and Rho Creek.  So, for all you anonymous trail advocates out there, please seek out some of these trails and help make sure they don't disappear.  They are all interesting trails for different reasons and deserve to be preserved.

How sad the Forest Service chooses to just abandon perfectly good historical trails.  baring_teeth_smiley_gif

Robert Koscik
Trail Lover
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06/15/2014 - 11:10 am
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Rho Creek, abandoned again...the FS JUST put that one back on the inventory a couple years ago!  What the hell is this the 70s again?  Is the Clackamas just a big plantation?

Burnt Granite needs serious brushing out etc.  It is a worthy project, showing up on the 1897 map as a main route.

Plaza Creek, that one has been faint since the 50s...

Craziness.  You can't even count on the roads being there, just berms everywhere.

Rob Williams
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06/15/2014 - 1:47 pm
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I don't know for a fact that these trails are officially abandoned - I'm making an assumption that since they do not appear on the FS website, that they are no longer considered official trails.  I think that is a reasonably accurate assumption, however.

Burnt Granite should be kept around - it is an interesting walk - and interesting up on top.  Too bad the trail up to the old lookout spot is history - there is a LOT of blowdown up there.  I bet it would take a week or more to clear all the blowdown up there.

Robert Koscik
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06/15/2014 - 8:27 pm
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Rho Ridge appears to be abbreviated too, only the southern half is shown:

http://www.fs.usda.gov/Interne.....405700.pdf

Rob Williams
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06/15/2014 - 9:39 pm
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That is really sad.  We did the whole Rho Ridge trail about 3 years ago and it was in good shape.  I don't know why they want to abandon the northern section.  The interesting part is that those FS data files showed the whole 10+ miles from Mt Lowe down to 6355.

Donald Presley
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06/16/2014 - 11:17 am
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Just when I was getting excited about the possibility of hiking part of the 50's route of the Skyline Trail from Cachebox Meadow in the south to Pot Creek Cabin in the north along the Rho Ridge and Burnt Granite trails the FS abandoned all or most of these trails. This route would be the longest North/South trail hikeable in the district besides the PCT and only a mile or so of walking on a road. This 50's reroute of the Skyline Trail is truly worth keeping alive, not only from a historical standpoint, but to those who brought these trails back from the previous abandonment.

Don

Donovan
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06/16/2014 - 7:12 pm
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Well don't let them spoil your fun. Use the trails anyway.

The one bummer tho is that now they can log those sections and don't have to pay any attention to the trail resource.

People need to remember that recreation is the lowest Forest Service priority.

D 2

Matt Reeder
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06/17/2014 - 1:20 pm
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Well, if it helps at least 3 of this will appear in the book I am currently writing. I'm still not sure what to do about Olallie Butte, but I know that Top Lake, Pyramid Butte and Geronimo will be there in some form.

I cannot figure out why the MHNF would want to decommission at least some of these trails, but then they do a lot of stuff that just boggles my mind.

Rob Williams
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06/17/2014 - 6:23 pm
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Pyramid Butte is in GREAT shape.  The only hard thing is knowing where to head off from the PCT to get to it.  Olallie Butte is in great shape as well.

Have you hiked Geronimo since the fire?  I've only hiked it once several years ago, pre-fire.  My fear is that the fire wasn't kind to it.  It was pretty faint in spots before the fire.

Matt Reeder
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06/18/2014 - 2:09 pm
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Rob Williams said
Pyramid Butte is in GREAT shape.  The only hard thing is knowing where to head off from the PCT to get to it.  Olallie Butte is in great shape as well.

Have you hiked Geronimo since the fire?  I've only hiked it once several years ago, pre-fire.  My fear is that the fire wasn't kind to it.  It was pretty faint in spots before the fire.

I had trouble finding Pyramid when I was up there last summer, but I wasn't looking hard at all since I was headed up to Park Ridge. I'm going to wait out the mosquitoes this year and head up there in September, after I'm done teaching summer school and having consistent time to devote to writing.

I've never hiked Geronimo but I've seen numerous reports on Portland Hikers that it's really, really faint but easy enough to follow because it just sticks to the ridge. I'll head up that way in a few weeks to check it out for myself. What I'm interested in a lot more is the condition of the road to the Elk Lake Creek TH. I have a low-clearance 1997 Sentra that didn't like the potholes on that road the last time I went up there. I heard a story that somebody was working on the road but I have nothing to back that up.

Rob Williams
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06/18/2014 - 4:18 pm
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There is a waypoint on the GPS track for Pyramid butte that shows the jct.  When we did it, we missed the jct on the way in, but found it on the way out.  My recollection was that it was covered with brush to hide the junction.

When we did Geronimo, we did it from the top down - we did Elk Lake to Welcome Lakes to Geronimo to Elk Lake and back.  That junction at the top with Welcome Lakes and Geronimo is all burned now - I was near there after the fire and the signs were all burned and it was tough to figure out what went where.  It wasn't too hard to take it down - not sure we followed it exactly, but most of the way we were on the old tread I think.  I'm worried that the fire was not kind to it.  Welcome Lakes down near the lakes is getting pretty rough to follow, and Schreiner down to Lake Lenore is essentially gone due to the fire.  (unless someone has been up there cleaning up the old tread).

I had heard that the road to Elk Lake had been worked on and was in really good shape - I'm guessing there will be some thinning going on in that area soon.  That seems to be the only time they do any road work.

Matt Reeder
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06/19/2014 - 9:52 am
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Rob Williams said
There is a waypoint on the GPS track for Pyramid butte that shows the jct.  When we did it, we missed the jct on the way in, but found it on the way out.  My recollection was that it was covered with brush to hide the junction.

When we did Geronimo, we did it from the top down - we did Elk Lake to Welcome Lakes to Geronimo to Elk Lake and back.  That junction at the top with Welcome Lakes and Geronimo is all burned now - I was near there after the fire and the signs were all burned and it was tough to figure out what went where.  It wasn't too hard to take it down - not sure we followed it exactly, but most of the way we were on the old tread I think.  I'm worried that the fire was not kind to it.  Welcome Lakes down near the lakes is getting pretty rough to follow, and Schreiner down to Lake Lenore is essentially gone due to the fire.  (unless someone has been up there cleaning up the old tread).

I had heard that the road to Elk Lake had been worked on and was in really good shape - I'm guessing there will be some thinning going on in that area soon.  That seems to be the only time they do any road work.

Do you mean the road to Elk Lake, or the road to the northern trailhead? Neither are all that fun, but there's no way in hell I'm ever subjecting my little old car to the road to the lake. I went up there with a friend a couple of years ago on a research trip and his Subaru did fine, but I don't think I'd want to put my little Nissan through that.

The road to the northern trailhead is generally fine but I wish they'd just remove the pavement and make it entirely gravel. I think that would solve a lot of the problems that road has (the potholes, the transitions from pavement to gravel, etc).

If you want to do Geronimo I've been eying a Elk Lake Creek / Geronimo / Big Slide Mtn / Welcome Lakes loop that would be a lot of fun, even though it would be a very long day on rough trails.

Rob Williams
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06/20/2014 - 3:58 am
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Matt Reeder said

Do you mean the road to Elk Lake, or the road to the northern trailhead? Neither are all that fun, but there's no way in hell I'm ever subjecting my little old car to the road to the lake. I went up there with a friend a couple of years ago on a research trip and his Subaru did fine, but I don't think I'd want to put my little Nissan through that.
The road to the northern trailhead is generally fine but I wish they'd just remove the pavement and make it entirely gravel. I think that would solve a lot of the problems that road has (the potholes, the transitions from pavement to gravel, etc).
If you want to do Geronimo I've been eying a Elk Lake Creek / Geronimo / Big Slide Mtn / Welcome Lakes loop that would be a lot of fun, even though it would be a very long day on rough trails.

Yeah, I meant the road to the northern Elk Lake Creek trailhead.  I've heard it has been worked on and is in good shape. 

Your Geronimo loop sounds a lot like mine except in reverse?  It was a long day, but Geronimo was easier to do top down than bottom up I think.  It does lose a LOT of elevation quickly.

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