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Thread: Powell Butte

  1. #1
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    Powell Butte

    Anyone have any info about the new trails cut at Powell Butte? I know most on here have written the Butte off, but I think these new trails definitely make it the best riding in town (which I know is not saying much). One of the new trails is actually even singletrack width!

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    Quote Originally Posted by trimess View Post
    Anyone have any info about the new trails cut at Powell Butte? I know most on here have written the Butte off, but I think these new trails definitely make it the best riding in town (which I know is not saying much). One of the new trails is actually even singletrack width!
    Yes, much welcomed addition of trails to the butte, but are not that fun to ride right now due to 2-3" of fine powdered dirt on top of trail from recent construction that makes for pretty slow rolling. I rode there on Wed night afterwork (on way home from work) and don't plan to ride there again to we get some steady rain and trails are bedded down more. I would still have to say the north side network of trails at Scappoose (Rocky Point Rd.) are better and more to ride (great conditioned right now, but closed of course). But yes, the new biking trails are a step in the right direction at PB and should be better to ride with some time. I have been riding PB off/on since early 90's and I think this is the first time new dirt biking trails have been constructed, so a success in that regard.
    Ride On!

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    True, but Scappoose isn't exactly in Portland.
    Last year's trail changes have hardened up pretty well, I imaging it will take another year for the new ones to be solid riding. I do wish they left a few more roots and rocks exposed though, add a bit of tech.

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    Agreed. It would have been nice to not entirely scrub the trails clean. Is there a single root anywhere in the park anymore? There are some rock piles in a few places that I am hoping will be put onto the trail, but I don't expect it to be anything technical. Definitely a step in the right direction for PDX.
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    I'm a Portlander, this is my first post on MTBr.

    Those are municipal owned trails. If a beginner rider were to get hurt because of exposed roots or rock, they 'could' sue city for injuries. I know, sucks, but we must think of the children, and the people who make decisions but can't handle the outcome(self sustained injury).


    I ride cross country and city on my 2009 Boulder SE. I'm down for a PB gathering!

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    Quote Originally Posted by trimess View Post
    True, but Scappoose isn't exactly in Portland.
    Last year's trail changes have hardened up pretty well, I imaging it will take another year for the new ones to be solid riding. I do wish they left a few more roots and rocks exposed though, add a bit of tech.
    You got me there. Yes, PB and tech never have went together. It doesn't bother me there are no roots or rocks as I treat PB as one big short track or slalom course with yield to others of course.
    Ride On!

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    Re: Powell Butte

    The best trail in Portland currently is river view.

    It's a short run but it's not doubt the best single track in Portland.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmark View Post
    Those are municipal owned trails. If a beginner rider were to get hurt because of exposed roots or rock, they 'could' sue city for injuries. I know, sucks, but we must think of the children, and the people who make decisions but can't handle the outcome(self sustained injury).
    Where did you get this idea? There are dozens (if not hundreds) of parks around the country that are both technical and municipally owned. I think they fall under assumption of risk when you are on a trail in a public park. You should visit Palmer Park in the middle of Colorado springs. There are 3 foot drops, and rock gardens that can stump even the best trials riders, all on public trails.

    Just almost seems like the park went out of their way to make the trails ADA compliant....

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    Powell Butte

    I think the new trails are not that bad - will take some time though until they are hard packed. In fact, I think they are definitely better than the old routing. Until then it is quite dusty - not as bad as I thought during a climb. I will miss some of the old trail routings that I rode over the past 14 years...

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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmark View Post
    I'm a Portlander, this is my first post on MTBr.

    Those are municipal owned trails. If a beginner rider were to get hurt because of exposed roots or rock, they 'could' sue city for injuries. I know, sucks, but we must think of the children, and the people who make decisions but can't handle the outcome(self sustained injury).


    I ride cross country and city on my 2009 Boulder SE. I'm down for a PB gathering!
    Really? Kinda throughs a big kink in the several skate parks in town.
    Master of Laundry...Lord of Cleaning!

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    Free-Agent, so I'm guessing NWTA and IMBA didn't have anything to do with these new trails?

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    Quote Originally Posted by trimess View Post
    Where did you get this idea? There are dozens (if not hundreds) of parks around the country that are both technical and municipally owned. I think they fall under assumption of risk when you are on a trail in a public park. You should visit Palmer Park in the middle of Colorado springs. There are 3 foot drops, and rock gardens that can stump even the best trials riders, all on public trails.

    Just almost seems like the park went out of their way to make the trails ADA compliant....
    First, it's Portland; we are late on all upgrade to social betterment due to bureaucratic red-tape. Second, this town continually creates laws and regulation to keep people from hurting themselves and suing the city. Third, skate parks are not integrated into pedestrian paths in forested environments were it might be hard to see a jogger coming around a blind corner.

    parks around the country that are both technical and municipally owned.
    This is very true, yet Portland has had a large MTB scene since the mid 90's and cities that have fallin into the MTB scene within the last 10 years have already built their inner-city MTB parks. It makes us Pdx'ers look slow!

    However, it looks like we are at the beginning of an inner-city MTB course as the "Gateway Green Project" is about to start development on the field between I-84 & I-205 for XC and DJ. We have one more day to contact the project for giving design ideas. I'll be volunteering at the build when it starts, hope others from the forum will make it out and help build!

    Gateway Green Project

    It takes a couple minutes to sign up and just a few minutes to complete the survey. Do it now! [The survey closes on Friday, August 16.]

    For more information, contact Sarah at Oregon Solutions (sarahgiles [at] pdx [dot] edu or 503-725-5248).

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    NWTA was part of the process from the beginning. In fact, the Exec Dir of IMBA did a ride up there with us as part of the first Trail Fest weekend. There was just no willingness to do anything technical up there. If I remember correctly (others were more involved than me) NWTA was successful in keeping some of the trails open to bikes that were originally going to be hiking only in the plan.
    Thankfully the trail network as a whole is much better than it was, and if you look carefully you can find some new little senders here and there. At least we can get the wheels off the ground once in a while now!
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    Thanks Free. I remember something about riding with IMBA out at Powell Butte, but just seems like you and NWTA seem surprised by these new trails. And it sounds like it was completely the city (parks) who was responsible for the actual build.
    Regardless I'm justs glad we have more trails. (I have just been curious about the whole process, because it seems like I hear very little, and then POW a new trail there the next time I ride).

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    Mark, I understand what you're saying, but there are dozens of public access, publicly owned trails around the city that have roots/rocks and other "technical" features. Think about Forest park (or any trail in the SW, definitely the Riverview Cemetery land that the city owns). There have not been many efforts to make those trails "safe". I"m just saying I think there is plenty of precedent for the city to keep and/or build more challenging trails.

    "This is very true, yet Portland has had a large MTB scene since the mid 90's and cities that have fallin into the MTB scene within the last 10 years have already built their inner-city MTB parks. It makes us Pdx'ers look slow!"

    I don't understand this statement, can you help clarify? If you are saying that Portland is woefully behind on mountain bike access, I think every single person on here would agree. I'd just be careful about labeling cities like Boulder and Colorado Springs into having "just fallen into the MTB scene".

    Thanks for the discussion and posting.

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    PB is improving, but don't expect Sandy Ridge

    Quote Originally Posted by free-agent View Post
    Thankfully the trail network as a whole is much better than it was, and if you look carefully you can find some new little senders here and there. At least we can get the wheels off the ground once in a while now!
    I concur, Powell Butte is getting better, and hopefully with enough participation and ridership, it will continue to. That said, it's not realistic to expect it to get much more technical. It's a fun, buff little XC spot IMO, which is good for getting out and doing some fitness laps, but it doesn't seem like it's got the goods for building real tech sections.

    I do think we should all look at the success stories around the country (and world,) for where municipal MTB trails are working well and see how we can emulate them.

    Seattle has Colonnade, Boulder has Valmont, what are some of the others that come to mind?

    I ask mostly for my own curiosity, but also so we can share knowledge and show some examples when time comes for making decisions.

    As always, if you're not an NWTA member in good standing, get involved.
    - -benja- -

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    Benja, are you looking for bike parks or trails? The ones you mentioned are bike parks (Even Duthie in metro Seattle is more of a park than trails). Most large mountain towns like Salt Lake, Boulder, CO Springs, Sant Fe, etc. have great access to trails right in town. They have big parks and they're opened to cyclists.

    There was an outstanding article on bikeportland a few months ago that was a written by a guy from Minneapolis talking about the work they have done on trails in there parks and how it could be done in Forest Park.

    Guest Article: Urban mountain biking in Portland - What it could be | BikePortland.org

    Personally I think that is what we need to emulate rather than simply an acre of some features and dirt jumps (though I understand there is a need for that too).

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    Powell Butte

    For those who have not had a chance to ride Powell Butte - this is not the place where you can and should go wild - lots of hikers, dogs, some other bikers (including some first time riders... ) an horses. Once you anticipate this and are prepared it is a great ride though.

    I typically do 5 lapses with 2700 ft cumulative climbing - so you do can get some exercise.

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    I started a Facebook page to catalogue as many urban examples as possible. Please consider joining the group and adding as much content as possible.
    https://www.facebook.com/Portlandmtb
    Support mtb'ing in the Portland area, join NWTA with your dollars, hands, and/or voice. nw-trail.org

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by trimess View Post
    Benja, are you looking for bike parks or trails?
    Both...

    Quote Originally Posted by trimess View Post
    There was an outstanding article on bikeportland a few months ago that was a written by a guy from Minneapolis talking about the work they have done on trails in there parks and how it could be done in Forest Park.

    Guest Article: Urban mountain biking in Portland - What it could be | BikePortland.org

    Personally I think that is what we need to emulate rather than simply an acre of some features and dirt jumps (though I understand there is a need for that too).
    Agreed, that was a good piece, and that's what we should be going for, in addition to smaller wins like bike parks here and there. For as huge as cycling is in PDX, and for how many people are showing up at Sandy Ridge every weekend, we should be able to mobilize this shite.
    - -benja- -

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    Quote Originally Posted by trimess View Post
    Mark, I understand what you're saying, but there are dozens of public access, publicly owned trails around the city that have roots/rocks and other "technical" features. Think about Forest park (or any trail in the SW, definitely the Riverview Cemetery land that the city owns). There have not been many efforts to make those trails "safe". I"m just saying I think there is plenty of precedent for the city to keep and/or build more challenging trails.

    "This is very true, yet Portland has had a large MTB scene since the mid 90's and cities that have fallin into the MTB scene within the last 10 years have already built their inner-city MTB parks. It makes us Pdx'ers look slow!"

    I don't understand this statement, can you help clarify? If you are saying that Portland is woefully behind on mountain bike access, I think every single person on here would agree. I'd just be careful about labeling cities like Boulder and Colorado Springs into having "just fallen into the MTB scene".

    Thanks for the discussion and posting.
    Safe trails: There has been a very successful way of keeping MTB off many singletrack trails in FP and other municipal parks to make them safe. They put no biking signs up. Fines for biking on those trails are $150 and up. If you hit someone with your bike on those trails, you'll get plenty sued if you don't hit-n-run. If there are no signs, than riding is permitted and the safety of the individual on those trails is the responsibility of the individual; jogger, hiker and cyclist.

    Woeful? I'm not so sure, I'm thinking along the lines that there has just not been enough demand by the off-road bike community to move such a project forward.

    I had Seattle & Chicago in mind. They've had a scene just about as long as any other city, yet have only built their inner-city MTB/BMX parks in the last 6 years.
    Last edited by pdxmark; 08-16-2013 at 09:10 AM.

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    Hope

    I'm not very familiar with the new trails either, though I got back home around 9:30pm from doing a ride at dusk(7pm'ish) to 9-9:10pm PST. Had a feeling like I really needed to do it and check them out! The Cateye HL EL625RC Nano I bought last week works very well in the night forest. My cheap LED strapped headlamp came in very handy too, and my panaracer fb xc pro's at 46psi on the rear did very well at keeping me on the track, specially since I still use v-brakes.

    We need group dusk rides up there, truly makes the ride more difficult--fun--.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdxmark View Post
    We need group dusk rides up there, truly makes the ride more difficult--fun--.
    Night riding (1-2hrs past dusk) is my preferred way to ride there and what I will be doing when daylight savings hits this fall. I like it better and feel I can ride faster due to not worrying about running into anybody while buzzing down the trails. Just got to watchout for deer (almost nailed a huge buck) once. Day time riding is pretty lame up there, but better with new trails that the hikers aren't typically on.
    Ride On!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgusta View Post
    Night riding (1-2hrs past dusk) is my preferred way to ride there and what I will be doing when daylight savings hits this fall. I like it better and feel I can ride faster due to not worrying about running into anybody while buzzing down the trails. Just got to watchout for deer (almost nailed a huge buck) once. Day time riding is pretty lame up there, but better with new trails that the hikers aren't typically on.
    Your bike is a lot better than mine, but I'd be down to meet up for a dusk ride during the week, as I primarily work weekends.

    Last night was the best. I only saw two people on the trails, and that was while I was leaving off the west side of the hill; the people were close to the houses, but on the trail. They saw me coming, thanks to my lights, and moved off the trail. As I flew by them I heard the guy say "damn, he's fly'in"!

    I don't even know if I want to study the trails during the day, the dusk riding up there is scary, fun and extremely exciting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by free-agent View Post
    Agreed. It would have been nice to not entirely scrub the trails clean. Is there a single root anywhere in the park anymore? There are some rock piles in a few places that I am hoping will be put onto the trail, but I don't expect it to be anything technical. Definitely a step in the right direction for PDX.
    The root removal/covering is driven by Portland Parks. Exposed roots affect tree health and Powell Butte is a "Nature Park". Hands are tied on many aspects of this project, but we are doing what we can to add some flavor to the trails and improve the experience for all of the users. (Better trail layout with more direction and elevation changes, improved drainage, better sight lines, etc...)
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