7/14/2012 – Corral Springs (507) Trail

Date of Hike: 7/13/2012
Location of Hike: Corral Springs Trail
Trail Number: 507
Weather during Hike: Sunny (overcast at times)
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:00 AM
End Time: 3:15 PM
Hike Distance: 6 miles
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This hike was a milestone for me in my goal of hiking all the trails in the Clackamas district. It marked the last trail that I have not hiked at all (I still have two more trails I need to complete hiking the entire length). This hike was on the Corral Springs trail all the way down to the Roaring River – what an interesting trail! The beginning isn’t all that great, but the further down the canyon you get, the more interesting (and faint) the trail becomes. There are some awesome viewpoints at the rock fields, and some fantastic views across the canyon.

The upper part of the trail was in great shape, however you could tell it doesn’t get hiked much. There was lots of branches, etc on the tread, although the trail was quite wide at the top – probably due to the quad traffic this trail used to get. The lower section started to get brushy in places and was difficult to follow as you got closer to the river. The last tenth of a mile or so it felt like you were going straight down! At a couple of points I wasn’t sure I was on the trail-I had to look very closely for where the trail was. I think it would have been a lot easier to hike in the early summer or late fall, when the ground cover isn’t do dense. On the way back up, I lost the trail for a bit – it was easier to see the faint tread going down than going up – the undergrowth is getting so aggressive now it is hiding what is left of the trail.

I spent a fair amount of time on the way back up the hill doing pruning of vine maple, fir trees and rhodies (it was a good excuse to take “rest” breaks on the long slog back up the hill). I didn’t have my loppers, so I was limited to smaller branches, but I think I improved the trail a fair amount. Also removed a lot of sticks and rocks from the trail – hopefully making it a little easier to follow. What the trail really needs down at the bottom is more boots on the trail. There are a few sections around the rockslides where the tread has kind of disappeared (slid down), so those areas need some tread work. But all in all, the trail was in pretty good shape – especially for an abandoned trail!

Some questions I came up with during the hike (I haven’t found answers as of yet, but will continue to look for them):

  • Where did Corral Springs get its name? Was there a horse Corral there at some point? I figure the springs are the ones at the junction of the Huxley Lake trail and Corral Springs. I did find evidence of what appears to be a corral (barbed wire) near the old campground, but don’t know what the story is.
  • A little bit past the “Corral”, past the junction with Huxley Lake, there was a small clearing?? it looks like there might have been a house or something there. Looking at the map, it is VERY close to an old spur road. I wonder what used to be there? I didn’t really see much evidence of a building or anything. Answer’ – There was some sort of corral in this vicinity. Apparently it was a grazing claim way back when. The barbed wire remnants I found were from the corrals. That clearing may have housed some kind of building at one time.
  • I found a pink ribbon tied to a tree down by the river – it said “PNW 7/27/10 Team #1” – anyone know what it means? The campsite didn’t look to have been used for quite some time. Maybe two years ago was the last time anyone camped there.
  • Near the base of the rockslides, there is what looked to be an area where a cabin may have been at one point. Anyone know anything about that? Or is my imagination running wild?

View from the trail down into the canyon:

Roaring River:

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