Leaves Nothing Behind - Barlow Trail Park  LbNA # 58375

OwnerTimm-ber Trail    
Placed DateJun 19 2011
LocationBrightwood, Barlow Trail Park, OR
Found By The Chipmunk Girls
Last Found Mar 10 2012
Hike Distance?

Leaves Nothing Behind Letterbox – Barlow Trail Park

Head East on Highway 26 towards Brightwood, OR. Take a left at E. Sleepy Hollow Road (near mp 35). Turn left onto E. Barlow Trail Road and cross the Sandy River. You’ll see a restroom on the left. Turn left into the parking lot at Barlow Trail Park.

As you approach the forest, take the trail on the left. Stay on the Upper Trail by going right at both Ys in the path. Keep following the trail, careful not to disturb the habitat restoration by the bridge. Take a U turn round the bend. Stay left on the maintained trail. Continue on Falls Trail. Stop to admire the waterfall. From the boulder, take 5 paces toward the Falls. Look to your left to a large tree next to a snag. Look low, the letterbox is hidden by some sticks. Make sure to cover it again when you leave and remember to Leave Nothing Behind.

The Park

In 1956 Clackamas County conserved about 100 acres for the Barlow Trail Park, which is located directly adjacent to the Sandy River at around 1200 ft in elevation. The newly created walking trails lead visitors through majestic forest habitat, representative of the western Cascades. This forest habitat is approximately 100-150 years old with Douglas fir as the dominant overstory tree species and Western Hemlock as the late seral species. Sword ferns and Oregon grape speckle the understory floor and salmon berry line the banks of Little Joe Creek. The Sandy River runs adjacent to the park for over a half of a linear mile. Therefore, the soil substrate in the lower elevations of the park is composed of Sandy River floodplain materials which have come down in storm events from higher elevations on Mt Hood. Average annual rainfall is usually around 90 inches, almost twice as much as nearby Portland, Oregon.
Barlow Trail Park is also located along the historic Barlow Trail Road, which was built in 1846 by Sam Barlow and Philip Foster. The construction of this road was such an important accomplishment because it completed the last overland segment of the Oregon Trail. The construction of this segment allowed covered wagons to cross the Cascade Range and reach the Willamette Valley, which had previously been nearly impossible due to river crossings (e.g. Sandy River), extremely steep terrain and high elevation conditions. This was by far the most exploratory and daring 100 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile Oregon Trail.