Do any of the East Hood/Hood River/Road 44 trail stewards and experts have any insight about Crane Prairie Trail? This is the unmaintained/decomissioned trail that starts about 1/6 of a mile east from the south TH for Gunsigh Ridge, and follows the boulder creek drainiage all the way down to the Boulder Lakes, about 2.5 miles until the tie trail to boulder lake I believe (the lower section below this junction does get MTB traffic I think). I've seen it on the adventure maps, read scant TR's about lower sections, read mention of it in old ride guides -- but everyone i've been able to talk to who knows anything about that area says it's unmaintained and the FS doesn't want people on it.
I rode up there today and was planning on a pocket creek/boulder lakes loop/gunsight/gumjuwac 'figure 8', but a leaky and saggy shock hobbled me early and prevented a climb-out of boulder lakes along that ridge, so I decided why not dink around trying to find the top TH for Crane Prairie and see what it's like since I can't really ride that hard and suddenly have time on my hands. Took a while to find it but luckily the map is accurate and after a few minutes of pacing around I picked it up. One big blowdown near the top, then rideable descent as far as my eyes could see pas, that was enough to convince me. I rode it for about 3/4 mile, passing a lot of downblow and understory overgrowth that nearly totally hides what's left of the trail. All I can say is WOW... and what a shame. That would have been easily the best descent around there. the small upper part that I saw reminded me a lot of what makes Maiden Peak and Fuji descents my favorites (Waldo lake network). Rolly, flowy terrain, sparse trees, and a trail that curves like a bobsled track any direction it chooses related to fall line because there's no direction that seemed too steep or too flat. I wish I could have ridden it in it's prime. I hope it has another prime. And to think that you could connect Gunsight with boulder lakes loop without with not just passable, but super super fun singletrack. Drool.
Yesterday I found a Portland Hikers TR from august of this year. pretty detailed route and conditions descriptoins and a lot of photos. Some of the comments mention that part of Hood NF's NRA status, a few mentions of what good trail stewards and hard workers MTB'rs are, and some folks suggesting that trail ressurection is wanted and desireable from the hiker's standpoint.
So what gives? Anyone here have any insight? Thoughts on why this one went the way of the Dodo? WHy haven't any MTBer's tried to resurrect yet, or are there efforst underway? Is it just funding issues preventing the FS from keeping this one going? Strange that so many other trails surrounding this get regular maintenance, yet Crane Prairie is left to rot in the middle.
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Thread: Crane Prairie Trail.... ?
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