Sunday, May 9, 2021
May 9, 2021

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Columbia River Gorge trails reopened after 2017 wildfire

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SALEM, Ore. — The new year has brought a new beginning for some of the most famous trails in the Columbia River Gorge.

Eagle Creek Trail, the iconic pathway that passes waterfalls and steep cliff edges, reopened Friday after 2017 wildfire damage kept it closed for more than three years, the Statesman Journal reported.

The epicenter of the 49,000-acre Eagle Creek Fire, the trail is open for its entire length, from the trailhead near Cascade Locks to Wahtum Lake.

It wasn’t the only high-profile pathway to reopen in the Gorge. Other trails that reopened include Wahclella Falls and the Larch Mountain Trail between Multnomah Falls and Wahkeena Falls.

Officials also opened the Gorge 400 Trail, specifically, Eagle Creek to John B. Yeon State Park and Ainsworth State Park to Horsetail Falls.

A few trails remain closed, including Oneonta Trail, which was impacted by a recent landslide and will reopen when it’s cleared, officials said. Oneonta Gorge, an off-trail route down a narrow creek canyon, also apparently remains closed. Its status is unclear but will be updated.

Taken together, the reopening represents the end of a chapter following the Eagle Creek Fire, which raged across Portland’s outdoor playground in the summer of 2017, shuttering businesses, burning buildings and closing Interstate 84 for an extended period.

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