OREGON’S TRAILS ARE SPECIAL, LET’S KEEP THEM THAT WAY.
Angels Rest was where we officially put tools-to trail for the first time in 2008 – grabbing our garden tools and trying our best to glean what we could from our more established partners in Washington Trails Association and Pacific Crest Trails Association. When the Eagle Creek fire hit on Labor Day in 2017, it was the annual return to Angels Rest that was the first trail party we had to postpone. Not knowing then it would take more than 6 months for us to be permitted to scout to the top for the first time. March 2018 we began to restore the trail and kept after it – looping up above the viewpoint to Wahkeena – through spring of 2019. A labor of love, we have volunteer leaders hitting the trail regularly to report back on the work to follow up on.
And just as that viewpoint to the west is a dream, Rowena Crest steals breathtaking views to the east. Jump up the trail and lift to a higher view at Tom McCall Point – passing by some of the most highly sought after and accessible wildflower viewing in the Columbia Gorge. We are officially jumping in to help with our partners Oregon State Parks and The Nature Conservancy who share the land these trails climb through. From viewpoint to viewpoint across Oregon, TKO is ready to tackle all of your trail priorities – we just need your support to climb up.
ANGELS REST POST-FIRE
Feet of Trails Improved
In Kind Value of Volunteer Time
ANGELS REST HAS ALWAYS SEEN FIRE
On March 14th, 2018 TKO Executive Director and (soon-to-be) Stewardship Manager met the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Trail Supervisor for a scout to the top and they were amazed at what they saw. The bottom section on State Parks land was a low severity burn, rolling through the understory with a cleaning effect. Jog up to the Forest Service segment about 2 miles from the trailhead and there wasn’t a leaf left. Some of the trees had seemed to be more toasted, but those were later recognized as being snags from the last time Angels Rest burned in the 90s.
An opportunity was awarded us,
ONE ROCK AT A TIME
There is a strange band of clay that runs through the Columbia Gorge and can be found at Angels Rest – a site visited by over a million people each year. With that strange soil type and crazy level of visitors, the backlog of maintenance is disheartening. We knew that if ever there was a time to move big rock and reconstruct trail tread, while the trail was closed was our chance. And we went after it. Now we seek to advocate for enhancements to this out and back trail. Help support us to build new trail at Angels Rest!
We’ve found a place helping our land conservation partners with their trail management woes. Whether it be The Nature Conservancy, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, North Coast Land Conservancy or Lower Nehalem Community Trust – we can help one another in protecting our public access lands through partnering and doing what we all do best.
And just as our partnerships have brought us to Smith Rock and Cascade Head, The Nature Conservancy has asked to have our expertise in trail design and initiating development at this property near Post, OR – a remarkable array of central Oregon landscapes, featuring John Day and Clarno “painted hills” formations. TKO will be heading up volunteer vacations in June 2020 at Juniper Hills. Whether it be ocean views on the Headlands or desert vistas on 10,000 acres between the Ochocos and Maury mountain ranges, TKO is getting after trails in Oregon.
This fall was chaotic and dramatic. Historic winds, fires, civil unrest, and a deadly pandemic will define the fall of 2020 for most. For me, they all set the backdrop for a somewhat confusing, sometimes chaotic, but overall incredibly fulfilling internship with Trailkeepers of Oregon, the US Forest Service, and Northwest Youth Corps. For the months of September, October and November, I worked in the Columbia River Gorge, aiding in ongoing trail restoration efforts. […]
Congratulations on the 2020 season! With challenges seemingly around every corner, it was certainly not an easy road, but we still accomplished some big things. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you who participated this year, either by signing up for a volunteer shift or by just staying in the loop by being on the email list. […]