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Building Portland’s network of trails

Explore trails of the Portland region– and what makes them work

By Mel Huie and Carrie Belding Metro


cross the greater Portland region, people of all abilities are using 350 miles of regional trails and nearly 1,200 miles of local and community trails. Explore with us to see how trails can create a

sense of place whether they’re nestled among warehouses or wetlands. You’ll have the opportunity to dig into the stories behind

these great places at the International Trails Symposium in Portland. Here’s a sneak preview of what you’ll experience— and what you can bring home to your own community.

1. Partnerships: How we get things done People walking, running, and riding their bikes on

regional trails don’t care where cities and counties begin and end— they just want a fun and safe outdoor adventure. That’s why we work together to create a world-class trail network that transcends jurisdictional lines. As the nation’s only elected regional government, Metro helps bring together dozens of local governments, special dis-  partners to plan trails. For nearly three decades, advocates have gathered at the Quarterly Trails Forum to share informa- tion and help shape the region’s nationally-known trails net- work. This collaboration has become even more powerful through the birth of The Intertwine Alliance, a coalition dedi- cated to funding and promoting nature.

2. Ambition

When it comes to trails, the greater Portland area has always dreamed big. In 1903, the 40-Mile Loop was envi-

22 SPRING 2015 Graham Oaks Nature Park in Wilsonville, OR; photo by Bruce Forster

sioned as a network of trails and parks. Today, it actually spans more than 140 miles, and includes many regional trails, such as the Springwater Corridor, Peninsula Crossing, Eastbank Esplanade, Leif Erickson, and Terwilliger Parkway.   And the 40-Mile Loop is just one part of our regional trail

 street regional trails— enough to stretch from Portland to Los Angeles, if you laid it out in a straight path. Of course, those trails will instead traverse the rivers, streams, forests, and communities that make the greater Portland region unique.

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