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Hillockburn Trail
Rob Williams
Admin
05/01/2011 - 7:51 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 1383
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So I decided to get out for a quick hike today to take advantage of the GREAT weather.  I didn't have a lot of time, so I decided to do the Hillockburn trail.  The trailhead was a MESS - I don't remember it being that bad, and to make matters even worse, it looked like they might have been shooting right down the beginning of the trail!

It was a beautiful day, and I only saw one other group on the trail - I ended up spending a little bit of time down by the river, which was very peaceful.  It was obvious that someone had camped there recently, and had quite a bit of firewood split (from some of the downed trees that had been cut).  There had been some work done on the trail as well, although the trail was in pretty good condition.  A couple of the switchbacks had washed out a little bit, but were still easily traversable.

There is a comment on the page for this trail saying there is a "abandoned and long unmaintained trail" on the other side of the river.  I spent a while looking for the trail, but didn't see anything terribly obvious.  I took the following photo and drew a line on it where I thought the trail might have been:

 

If this is truly the trail, it is VERY faint.....I took a look at some old maps and it doesn't look like it has been on a map in over 50 years.  Does anyone know if that is the trail?  It kind of looked like a trail bench, but it wasn't an obvious one. 

Donovan
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05/02/2011 - 7:44 am
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 714
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That's it. Some new blow down. Is that hemplck stretching across the river?

 

The trail becomes more distinct just up out of sight.

 

The trail head is an unfortunate spot. I hope you left the trash. That's how they like it.

 

D.

Rob Williams
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05/02/2011 - 4:53 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 1383
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There are a couple of trees that were almost across the river, but not quite.  All the devil's club makes it tough to get to the river, except in one spot.  I think there is a larger tree that pretty much goes across a little upstream, but it might be tough to get back to the trail.  Exploring for a different day, wtih more time.  Maybe in the fall when the water is lower.

Just to show you how bad the trailhead is, here is a photo at the top of that old spur road - there is a little snow, but most of it is garbage and debris from the shooters, and no, I didn't pick any of it up - there were shooters on the other side of the road when I came back up:

 

Donovan
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05/02/2011 - 5:44 pm
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Rob Williams said:

There are a couple of trees that were almost across the river, but not quite.  All the devil's club makes it tough to get to the river, except in one spot.  I think there is a larger tree that pretty much goes across a little upstream, but it might be tough to get back to the trail.  Exploring for a different day, wtih more time.  Maybe in the fall when the water is lower.

Just to show you how bad the trailhead is, here is a photo at the top of that old spur road - there is a little snow, but most of it is garbage and debris from the shooters, and no, I didn't pick any of it up - there were shooters on the other side of the road when I came back up:

 


Classic picture. The Urban/Wilderness Interface.

 

Donovan

Donald Presley
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Trail Maintenance
05/05/2011 - 10:19 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
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That trailhead is always a party spot through the winter, too bad for it is a nice trail. Rob was there any more  ATV damage down the trail that you could see? I know just before the trail was put into wilderness we were having trouble with motorcycles and quads going down the trail. The trail does continue across the southfork, but goes through an experimental tree farm for the USFS with locked gate and tall fences. Bummer!

Don

Rob Williams
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05/06/2011 - 5:33 am
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 1383
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There were quad tracks (and looked like rock crawler tracks) down the spur road for sure.  There was also motorcycle tracks down the real trail for a ways as well.  You could see evidence of people driving through the forest as well.  Way down the trail I saw a motorcycle track across the trail - looks like they went over a BIG log - they were really cross country travelling.

The good news is that the trail changes dramatically after you get down it a ways.  The first part is rather depressing, but I had the same feeling this time as the last time - you go around a certain corner and all the noise and ugliness literally disappears and you feel like you are in a different place.

The trail across the river sounds like a good place to explore this fall when the river is much lower.

Donald Presley
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Members

Trail Maintenance
05/06/2011 - 6:44 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
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Rob was there any evidence of new signs that had been put up at the trailhead itself or the wilderness boundary along the 45 road?  Because of the past practices in the area, shooting gallery and partying, I think it will be a while for that situation to change anytime soon.

I believe last spring I headed up there to hike the trail, but when I got to the trailhead a Forest Officer had his lights flashing on his rig and he was talking to a large group of people that looked like they had been partying and trash was everywhere. I ended up heading back down to the Clackamas and hiking up "The Sounds of Two Rivers Trail".

I have been on part of the abandoned trail segment across the river  when Donavon showed it to Bob and I  a couple of years ago. We came down from the road through the experimental forest to get to the old trail and followed it down about halfway,  but we never came all the way down to the river. There is some nice old growth in there that is now wilderness.

Don

Rob Williams
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05/07/2011 - 5:46 am
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 1383
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No new signs at the trailhead, but as you make your way down the trail, there are nice new signs with the trail name and number and the wilderness sign.  If I remember right, this is still on the old spur road, almost to where the actual trail starts:

 

I'm thinking I'd like to take this trail down to the river, cross and then up the other side in the fall sometime (when the river is low).  There may be several options to cross without getting soaked….Since the tral down to the river is only about a mile and a half, it would be pretty easy to hike up the other side a ways.

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