Work on Upper Firelane 5 Finally Begins

Written by Juntu Oberg

In March 2020, NWTA formally partnered with Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) as the official trail steward of Forest Parks Firelane 5. Since then, our leadership team has worked with PP&R & Forest Park Conservancy (FPC) to improve the singletrack portion of the trail. In 2021, we installed a juniper retaining wall right before the last switchback where the trail ends at Leif Erickson. Earlier this year, we extended the rock turnpike and improved drainage.

On October 13th and 14th, a long-awaited project to do work on the upper portion of the firelane finally took flight! Because of its original construction as a firelane for park access, the trail is notorious for poor drainage and is not environmentally sustainable. Previous efforts of hand-cutting in drains were no match for the amount of rain we receive each year. This year, our machine operating team cut in several drain dips, and our hand tool crews followed behind to reinforce & refine the installation.  These dips will help keep the water off the center of the trail & significantly improve its sustainability with a massive decrease in erosion. We also worked on the very end of the firelane trail, installing some rocks to promote a safer trail crossing as it enters the intersection with the Wildwood Trail.

All of our work at the park is done in partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation and Forest Park Conservancy. If you would like to get involved, email [email protected]