Speak up now for dirt trails at Chehalem Ridge Nature Park

Speak up now for dirt trails at Chehalem Ridge Nature Park

Imagine nice biking trails here. It could happen if we speak up.(Photos: Metro)

Imagine nice biking trails here. It could happen if we speak up.
(Photos: Metro)

Imagine rolling your bike onto the MAX, getting off at the end of the Blue Line in Hillsboro, then pedaling 10 miles to some sweet singletrack. That could become reality, but only if you speak up and get involved.

About 23 miles west of Portland — and just 10 miles south of the Hillsboro Transit Center — lies 1,200 acres of undeveloped land called the Chehalem Ridge Nature Park. Before the economy tanked it was prepped for housing, but Metro purchased it in 2010 with funds from their Natural Areas Levy. And we’re lucky they did because it could someday be home to bike trails.

Metro says Chehalem Ridge is one of the largest publicly owned natural areas in Washington County. It’s about the same size as Oxbow Regional Park in east Multnomah County, yet it’s relatively unknown because of its rural location and lack of public facilities. The land itself (based on photos, I have yet to explore it) offers sweeping views of the Tualatin Valley and Coast Range to the west. Its gradual inclines, meadows, and groves of trees give it loads of potential as a place where off-road cycling could flourish.

It's about three miles east of Hagg Lake, south of Forest Grove.(Map: Metro)

It’s about three miles east of Hagg Lake, south of Forest Grove.
(Map: Metro)

Here it is in context to Portland.

Here it is in relation to Portland.







Looking west toward the Coast Range, Hagg Lake, and the Tualatin Valley.

Looking west toward the Coast Range, Hagg Lake, and the Tualatin Valley.

chehalem_ridge_thinning

With Metro’s recent support for trails in the North Tualatin Mountains, there’s good reason to hope that Chehalem Ridge could be another, relatively close-in mountain biking destination for our region. But there’s one thing missing so far: Feedback and comments from people who love off-road cycling and want more places to do it.

Similar to how they approached the Tualatin Mountains parcels, Metro says, “What that nature park looks like will be up to community members to shape.” And our source at Metro assures us that “off-road cycling is part of the discussion.”

Now’s the time to take Metro’s Chehalem Ridge Nature Park Master Plan survey and let them know what you want. The last day to respond is this Friday June 10th!

This is an important opportunity to create a fun and accessible new park for all! Please take the survey, learn more at OregonMetro.gov, and stay tuned to BikePortland for more opportunities to weigh in.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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