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Open house to focus on trail extension

Community can share ideas for six-mile trail between Springwater Corridor, Sandy River

OUTLOOK PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - A pair of cyclists brave the rain to enjoy the Springwater Corridor Trail, which is planned to receive a six-mile extension.One of the final significant gaps in the 40-Mile Loop, a meandering regional trail system connecting Portland and East Multnomah County, is entering the planning stages for completion.

Interested residents can share their thoughts on how best to proceed with the project at an open house scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, in the Town and Gown Room at Mt. Hood Community College, 26000 S.E. Stark St., Gresham.

“This is a chance for community members to help shape where the trail will go and what it will look like,” said Robert Spurlock, senior regional planner at Metro Parks and Nature and the project’s manager. “The trail will be an opportunity for people to connect with nature close to where they live and enjoy alternate routes for travel.”

The section to be added will be a six-mile walking and biking trail between the Sandy River in Troutdale and the Springwater Corridor in Gresham. When completed the path will connect more than 30 parks in a continuous, off-street trail.

The site where the trail will be constructed doesn’t have the benefit of any natural corridors to follow, which makes the whole process trickier. Planners have to be aware of avoiding steep hills, while also not having the trail simply running along busy roads. Thus the planning stage has even more importance, and public input will be crucial.

“The open house isn’t just about the public asking questions, but for us to ask them, listen and hear new ideas,” Spurlock said.