Members of the Lyle Community Trails Committee and community gathered Wednesday, July 1, at Lyle’s Activity Center to discuss a proposed trail system for the Friends of the Columbia Gorge Cherry Orchard and adjacent Department of Natural Resources property. The proposed trail system would be installed on the 550-acre Cherry Orchard property owned by Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and approximately 415 acres of adjacent DNR land, south of the Centerville highway.
Dan Miller of the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance walked participants through the progress made in planning for the trail system’s installation and stressed that the project is in its infant stages and won’t see any ground breaking for at least a year, maybe more depending on permitting for the trails.
The anticipated trail system is estimated to stretch about six to ten miles, approximately seven and a half miles are nonmotarized access trails. “Any trail development on DNR land is a long way out, like, several years,” Miller warned, as DNR has their hands full with other projects and won’t be taking this one on for a while. Miller estimates the waiting time for the permit may be a year, or longer.
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, a nonprofit group that works towards building and maintaining mountain bike trails in the state of Washington, has agreed to partner with DNR and help build trails once DNR is ready to take on the task. The proposed trail on Cherry Orchard will be signed for hikers only until the extension trail is added, then mountain bikers will be permitted to ride on the path. Appropriate signage would be utilized to discourage users from deviating from the marked trail.
Excerpted from an article by Michelle Scott in The Enterprise. Read the full article here