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506/508/509 and the old Abbott Trail
Paul Turner
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07/28/2013 - 6:42 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
Forum Posts: 129
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Went looking for the 509 yesterday and came up empty - I saw lots of promising trail but no real supporting evidence like blaze or maintenance. The plan was to descend on the 506, then head upriver looking for trail. If things got too bad I'd bail out on the 508 (or Cougar Creek Tr) that Don and Rob reported on a while back (Rob sent me his GPS track so I knew where to look). If I made it OK to the 508 I planned to continue on upriver to look for trail, take pictures of big trees and then exit at Hambone Springs.

 

BTW, the washout on Abbott Road looks worse than it did on my last visit, pretty much motorcycle traffic maybe an ATV.

 

I parked off Abbot Road near the closed Twin Springs Campground and took off down the well flagged 506. Trail is in fair shape for an abandoned trail. There are 3 creek crossings where I lost the trail but further down someone has flagged the trail and that part was easy to travel.

A section of the 506:

506.png

Looks like this trail gets some traffic, it is an awesome bit of trail:

506board.png

I turned up river to look for trail as shown on several maps. I expected the going to be tough in the section between the 506 and 508 but this part turned out to be the easiest of the journey. I did see places on the way to the 508 that looked like trail bench but no other evidence - so what I saw I have to call good game trail. I made good time to the 508 and decided to go on upriver from there.

 

The orange ribbon marks my intersection with the 508, thx Don and Rob for the marker:

508.png

From beyond the 508 the conditions deteriated rapidly, I was now into old growth but there were more trees on the ground than standing and with the brush things got nasty. I no longer looked for trail, just a way forward.

About every 20 feet I'd get this - really wore me down.

Down.png

I was rewarded for my efforts with some early huckleberries:

huck.png

And some large old-growth trees

Tree.png

I went another mile or so upriver and gave up hoping that conditions would improve and turned up the hill to get on Abbott Rd for the long walk back to my rig. It is on the way up I made what might be the most interesting discovery of the day. I believe I found a section of the old Abbott trail and my supporting evidence is a long length of #9 phone line I found nearby. I was making my way up the hill through moderate brush when I came across a broad trail bench - maybe 75-100' long - could be more. At the time I said to myself, "Naw, just a natural geographic feature put there to mess with my head." I didn't even bother with a picture and continued up the hill and a few feet later I ran into phone line. At the time I did not associate the 2 thinking the phone line went with Abbott Rd which was still several hundred feet away. I did find it curious that the FS would string wire so far south of the road.

 

Wire.png

 

Looking at the 1927 map I see now I have good evidence that the bench I saw was trail as the map shows the trail marked with phone line. I'm going to take another trip out there and follow that phone line and trail.

 1927-1.png

Is this the TH for the 508/Cougar Creek Trail? Seems to be in the right location.

508TH-1.png

Here is the map of my GPS track. Right below the 'M' in 'MT' is a jog in my track - that is where the phone line and possible trail bench is located.

509Topo-1.JPG

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kirk
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Trail Maintenance
07/28/2013 - 10:31 pm
Member Since: 10/13/2010
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Very cool!  Thanks for the trip report, Paul.

Donovan
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07/28/2013 - 10:54 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
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That trail below the road at that point you will find above the road to the west and I believe it was built 1910-11. Somewhere refered to as Estacada/Calackamas Lake trail. I believe it is the route Dr Miller used. Could be wrong of course.

 

I would prefer we refer to any Abbot trail as the route north but parallel and closer to the route he used in 1858.

 

That looks like the Cougar Creek trail at the road.

 

Your experiences in the upper end sound like the others I have heard.

 

I am glad to hear the Plaza Creek Trail getting some use. When I first started down it it was real near to being invisible beyond a short distance from camp.

 

D 2

Rob Williams
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07/29/2013 - 8:42 pm
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Thanks for posting this trip report, Paul.  Very interesting stuff.  I'll have to go check out the old phone line down there one of these days.  I had on my list to head down to the river up near the end of 4610, to explore some of those big trees down there.  After seeing that blowdown, I may change my mind!  Crawling over big old growth blowdown is really hard.

Robert Koscik
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08/05/2013 - 4:51 pm
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Don and I flagged and cleared Plaza a good way down a couple of years ago, it was steep and vague.  Burnt out country in the 30s, not much to cut or blaze.

Last summer we found and cleared a good stretch of pre-Abbot Road trail (anyone know the #?) in the vicinity.  Big trees growing up through the tread, but it was still pretty obvious under the brush.

Paul, you see a lot more when the trips are less than 45 mile loops!  Boundless energy...

Was there much trash at 2 Springs?

Paul Turner
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08/05/2013 - 9:59 pm
Member Since: 09/20/2009
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Don and I flagged and cleared Plaza a good way down a couple of years ago, it was steep and vague.  Burnt out country in the 30s, not much to cut or blaze.

 

Your efforts are appreciated and the trail is seeing some use, thx.

 

Last summer we found and cleared a good stretch of pre-Abbot Road trail (anyone know the #?) in the vicinity.  Big trees growing up through the tread, but it was still pretty obvious under the brush.

 

I'd like to see that, I think it is worth another trip out there - where would I pick up the section you guys worked on? I like Don's Clackamas Lake Trail name.

 

[...] Was there much trash at 2 Springs?

 

In the campground, none that I noticed, along the nearby road very little. The big trash pile was at Lookout Springs and there was evidence of shooting at the quarry.

 

--Paul

Donald Presley
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08/08/2013 - 1:40 am
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Cougar-Creek-Dist-001a.jpgPaul you must be the Energizer Bunny or what! I crawled over a couple of those 6' + dia logs down in the bottom of the Roaring River while exploring the Cougar Creek Trail, but gave up looking for a trail upriver. I did see a cut log going downriver towards Plaza Creek, but never explored it. There is a tread across the Roaring River that climbs out of the canyon but fades as Rob knows. There is 2-3 miles of tread coming down from Signal Buttes ending up on a flat plateau between Cougar Creek and the Roaring River, probably about a mile between the sections. I hope to connect the segments together this year if I ever get down there. (See map)

As far as the Plaza - Clackamas Lake Trail you walked past several miles of trail hiking the road back to your ride. You know where the Cougar Creek Trail comes off the 4610 road, well the trail goes above the road to join up with the Plaza-Clackamas Lake Trail that parallels the road and will take you within a 1/4 mile of the Plaza Lake trailhead ending in an old clearcut above the road. If you walk up the road past the Plaza Lake Trailhead and look for a faint spur road above the old clearcut that comes down to the road and follow up such spur road to flagging you will intersect the old trail there. It's been flagged and brushed somewhat towards the east to a junction with the Salmon Lake Trail and onto the Cougar Creek Trail.

Don

 

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Rob Williams
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08/08/2013 - 10:48 am
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Just to show how good of a mapmaker Don is, here is a composite GPS track of the various Cougar Creek explorations.  The actual track looks pretty much like what Don drew on his map.

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