SW Trails PDX

SW Trails is a community group which promotes walking and biking in southwest Portland, Oregon by:

  1. Leading regular monthly hikes
  2. Organizing volunteer work parties to build and maintain trails
  3. Developing new walking and biking opportunities (e.g. the 4-T trail, the Red Electric trail) by working with city, county and state planners.
    City-wide Trails Policy is SW Trails’ vision of what the future of trails should be in Portland.
  4. Advocating for walking/biking.
Posted in SW Trails Organization | Tagged

SW Trails at Hillsdale Farmers Market

SW Trails will have a booth at the Hillsdale Farmers Market on July 5. Come and talk about the joys of walking SW Portland.

Posted in Walks

Work party – Portland Parks and SW Trails in Himes Park on July 2

Portland Parks leads SW Trails volunteers on monthly work parties to repair trails
in SW Portland.
Date: Thursday July 2nd Work Party
Time: 9am until noon
Project: Switchback reconstruction, brushing/pruning along trail, tread reconstruction
Trail: George Himes Park Trails and SWT #3
Meeting location: SW Terwilliger Blvd. and SW Nebraska St.

We need all the volunteers we can get. Come join us get a little dirty and help improve out outstanding trail system in SW Portland.

Map of Hines Park

Posted in Walks

SW Urban Trails Walk on July 11th

Saturday, July 11th, 9:00 am

The July 11th walk will be led by Lee Buhler.  From Wilson High School we will walk down Terwilliger Blvd. to SW Woods St. where we will walk on a new segment of trail built by SWTrail volunteers this June.  We will then walk through the historic Lair Hill district and across the Hooley Gibbs St. pedestrian bridge to South Waterfront.  Next we will inspect the new short section of the Greenway Trail and Park just recently opened.  Then we will walk back up the Iowa St. trail 3 and if the weather is fine get a good view of Mt. Hood at the viewpoint.  Total distance is 6 miles with 550 feet elevation gain.  Continue reading

Posted in Walks

SW Trails walk saw cacti and the Riverview Natural Area

Walkers on the June SW Trails urban hike noticed a cactus blooming in Portland.  After passing the cactus the group walked through the Riverview Natural Area and were impressed by the extent of this new Portland Park.

Walkers on the June SW Trails urban hike noticed a cactus blooming in Portland. After passing the cactus the group walked through the Riverview Natural Area and were impressed by the extent of this new Portland Park.

Posted in Walks

SW Trails letter to Pedestrian Advisory Committee on Trails policy

From: Don Baack, President SWTrails PDX

To: Members of the Pedestrian Advisory Committee

I am writing on behalf of the Board of SWTrails PDX, joining East Portland in requesting the Portland City Pedestrian Advisory Committee hold a fact finding hearing on the latest Draft Trails Policy and issue a report to the Portland City Council. Letter to Pedestrian Advisory Committee

Posted in Walks

Pictures of trail building on Woods Street trail in Terwilliger Wildlands

On June 4 SW Trails volunteers worked with Portland Parks to put two switchbacks on the trail that comes up to Terwilliger

SW Trails volunteers replaced a steep section of the trail with a more gradual grade.  This trail goes from Woods Street up to Terwilliger just below OHSU's Casey Eye Institute.

SW Trails volunteers replaced a steep section of the trail with a more gradual grade. This trail goes from Woods Street up to Terwilliger just below OHSU’s Casey Eye Institute.

below OHSU from Woods Street.

Lucy Cohen

Portland Park’s trail technican Lucy Cohen lead SW Trails volunteers in a work party on June 4. Here Lucy is building a wall to support the trail at a switchback.

Posted in Walks

SW Trails April meeting minutes

April 23, 2015

The Watershed Building in Hillsdale
6388 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland OR 97239

DRAFT

Attendance: Don Baack, Lee Buhler, Glenn Bridger, Virginia Hendrickson, Sharon Fekety, Hans Steuch, Doug Rogers, Rick Kappler, Patty Barker, Dave Manville, Chris Mays, Dianne Mays, Keith Wymer, Jeff Hough, John Mullen, Barbara Stedman, Michael Kisor

The meeting was called to order at 7:03 pm.

After introductions the agenda was approved.

John Mullen talked about trails in Tryon Creek State Natural Area. He has been Director of Tryon State Natural Area for several years. He talked about the trail connection linking Tryon with Marshall Park. He said there is some private property, state property and Portland Parks property. He said it is important to make the watershed whole. He said it is important to complete the culverts to do that. He said it is important to bring the treasure of the watershed back. He said the culvert underneath Boones Ferry is very important. He said it is important that people can walk under Boones Ferry as it is very dangerous to cross. John displayed a map of the area. He said the City (BES) has applied for a grant with Metro for a bridge over Tryon Creek on Boones Ferry. He said they should know if that grant was approved some time in May. He said a private resident is willing to donate a foot bridge in memory of her daughter. John passed out maps of the trail route. He said there has been trouble with permitting with City of Portland on the trail that the Professional Trail Builder’s Association was planning to build. Jeff said they are held to the same standards as a road. John said they have not been able to meet with anyone from the City to talk about the permit. Due to the delay they had to move the workshop construction to another State Park as they had to do it by June 30. He said he would still continue to work on trail and hopefully it will be built at a future date.

John said the Iron Mountain bridge in Tryon Creek will need to be replaced this summer as a sewer line that runs under the bridge need to be replaced. The South Creek Trail will be replaced as it was washed out. It will also restore a drainage to the Willamette. Dave asked if they would use commercial trail builders and volunteers for the trail to Arnold Creek. John said they would use both. Keith said he has some trained volunteers available to help. Don asked if they will need to do a geo-tech study and John said yes as well as a flood plain study. They will also have to do some tree mitigation. Keith asked if Fish and Wildlife would be involved and John said no as they are not in a stream. Don asked if the trail could be resurrected if it was in the next few weeks. John said it would have to be in the next few weeks. Jeff ask if the offer to donate items was still valid. Keith said they are interested in the project and getting it done and get their name out. John said even if it is too late for the symposium it would be good to get meetings with the City. Patty asked if there was access to the trail from Arnold and John said yes. He pointed out how the trail would go to make that connection. He said that section would also allow them to get ATVs in there for rescues. Patty asked about a piece of property recently donated to Tryon (South of the new Bridge) where there is a cabin. John said the cabin was built in 1912 and he could arrange a tour for SW Trails. He said they have a plan to put in trails and preserve the buildings. They will do some rehab this summer. He said the rehab will come first and they will have someone living in the house and then build the trails. Rick asked if there would be a detour route for pedestrian and bicyclists when they do the bridge construction. John said he was not sure but there should only be short times of complete closure. Don pointed out there is route around the area.

Don said he met with a Lake Oswego councilman to talk about using the Lake Oswego Trolley rail line as a bike/ped connection.

Jeff Hough from Portland Parks talked about the trail stewardship program. He said Parks was very disappointed about the trail in Marshall Park as well. Jeff handed out the draft trail stewardship agreement. He thanked SW Trails for all the work that has been done. He said the agreement will help hold them accountable. He said they wanted to incorporate the 4T trail. Jeff went through the projects. He talked about the Woods Street trail. He said they would like to start some sections in Marquam just below Sherwood. They hope to work on them in May. There are some wet sections and there is a lot of pruning and brushing. They would work on the first Thursday of the month probably from 9 – Noon. Jeff said he has additional help on Fridays so it would be good to have them complete work that we cannot get done on Thursday. The first work party would be May 7. Jeff said they would put an announcement on the web. Don suggested putting on the coordinates for GPS. The next one would be June 4th on Woods Street trail. Jeff said this trail is used a lot. Many people use the trail as a commuting trail and it is busy around 9am and 5pm. In July the work will be done in Himes park. Jeff there are many sections of trail that have too steep of a slope. On August 6 they will work on the Buhler cut-off. He said there are homeless camps and they would like to make better sight lines. The Sept 3 work party will be in Dickinson Park. Don suggest a bucket brigade to get the gravel in to trails. Don suggested moving that one later to do it when the trail is wet. Don said Dave has come up with a good design for wet areas using fabric and grindings. October work would be on SW Trail #5. There is a bridge that is failing. They want to reroute some of the trail. On November 5 it would be in Maracara Park and would include leaf removal and putting down gravel. The December work party would be on the 4T. Jeff said the trails hold up a lot better when leaves are removed. Dave pointed out that volunteers could remove leaves on their own. Keith said it was important to get the leaves all the way off the trail. January and February work parties will be in George Himes Park. He said there are stairs that need work. Patty said crews that planted had messed up some sections of trail. Jeff said they were repairing those spots. March will be in Gabriel Park. April would be in Woods Memorial Natural Area. Jeff asked people to identify trail intersections that need better signage. Dave suggested a trail and sign through Albert Kelly Park. Don said BES is talking about day-lighting the stream and leaving a short section of culvert where the trail would go. Don said it is important for insurance to sign-in when going to the work parties. Don said we also have the opportunity to attend Park’s CPR and first aid classes as part of the agreement. Dave reminded that there will be a work in Woods Park party. Meet at 48th and Marigold.

Jeff passed out maps of Marquam. Dave said the Open Streets maps have decent maps of trails. He suggested putting all the trails on Google. Hans asked if there are other stewardship agreement and Jeff said there are around twenty. Keith said there are many trail groups with many people involved. He said they try to do trails at the National Trail Standard. He suggested a weekend trail symposium. He said trails are built differently. He said it is important to build the trails so they are maintainable. Jeff said there was recently a trail building park at Cascade Lock. Patty suggested Youtube videos.

Walks: Virgina said there were 17 people with a little bit of rain and hail on the walk in April. Dave will lead May. Pete will lead in June. Don said AARP would like to work with us on easier walks. He said there are 65,000 AARP members in the Portland area.
Memberships: Don said that Barbara Bowers said there were two new members.
Social Media: Barbara said we have many likes on our Facebook page and they keep coming in.
Patty said the pictures on the website for community based trails are inappropriate such as a dog off-leash.

Don said there were letters from SW Trails, South Portland, Homestead, Friends of Terwilliger and OHSU on the Whitaker Trail. He said the City has agreed to fund the crossing of Natio and Whitaker. They still working on funding for the trail improvements from Barbur to Terwilliger.
Don suggested a letter from Arnold Creek NA, SW Trails to fill gaps on Arnold Creek and Stephenson. Patty said we should not have to ask for this and it is crazy to leave gaps.
Hans said things are moving abet slowly on the Red Electric Trail. There have been geo-tech studies on the bridge and an engineering firm is working on the design. Barbara asked about the section of Bertha leading to the bridge. Don said there will be sharos. Don said it is important to get funding for the connection from Himes Park to Slavin. Doug said a key link for the Red Electric is across Alpenrose Dairy. He has tried to contact people there but no one responded. He finally went and sat in their office and finally someone contacted him. They said they were concerned about security. Doug said there is a public right-of-way just north of the property that might be possible. Sharon said Alpenrose supports bicycling.
Don said there have been permitting problems with the SW 25th Safe Route to School. The City allocated money for the trail.. We will also have to study the soil where the footings will be.
Don said the Tunnelwood Drainage trail relocation problem has been in the hopper for over a year.
Don said PBOT is suggesting Sunday Strolls instead of Sunday Parkways. Hans asked if vehicles would be prohibited. Don said no, it would be on low volume streets.

Dave said he and Barbara have met with a couple of neighborhood association. Dave said he started a list of projects for PBOT rights of way. Patty asked if they were demand trails and Dave said yes. He said these trails have been identified by neighborhoods. Dave said there could be hundreds of these trails. Don said he would be meeting with Erica Nobel from Commissioner Novick’s office and he could talk to her about that. Patty said the draft trail policy is not workable as is.
Keith said REI and Patagonia will give away clothes to people who do trail work.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:00pm

Respectfully submitted
Lee Buhler

Posted in Walks

June SW Trails monthly meeting Thursday June 26, 2015

SW Trails will have the regular monthly meeting on Thursday June 26, 2015 at 7pm at the The Watershed Building in Hillsdale
6388 SW Capitol Hwy
Portland OR 97239

Agenda for June 25 2015 7pm Meeting of SWTrails Continue reading

Posted in Walks

Talk “Walking the Walk – creating a walkable city” Monday June 15 at 6:30 pm

Jeff Speck, author of “Walkable Cities” will be speaking in Tigard on Monday June 15 at 6:30 pm. The presentation is sponsored by the City of Tigard and is a timely complement to Tigard’s long-term vision to become: “The most walkable community in the Pacific Northwest where people of all ages and abilities enjoy healthy and interconnected lives.”
Location: Broadway Rose Theater, 12850 SW Grant Ave., Tigard.

Continue reading

Posted in Walks

Feburary, March, April 2015 meeting minutes

SW Trails PDX
Monthly Meeting and Annual Membership Meeting Minutes

February 26, 2015

Continue reading

Posted in Walks