McKenzie River Trail

Blue Pool/TamolitchMCKENZIE BRIDGE: The portions of the McKenzie River Trail that lead to Tamolitch Falls, commonly known as Blue Pool will reopen to the public on Thursday, September 8th. However, due to continued fire-related safety concerns, portions east of Blue Pool and the fire area remain closed - including Forest Service Roads 740 and 743. Officials said road work was completed Sunday on Forest Service Road 655 at the trailhead near Trail Bridge Campground and Carmen Reservoir. Parking is only allowed on the right side of the trailhead parking area near the Trail Bridge Campground.
“Now that the Blue Top Fire is safely contained away from the McKenzie River Trail, we have determined it is safe to re-open that section of trail,” said Terry Baker, McKenzie River District Ranger. “I really appreciate everyone’s patience during the closure.”

MRT rerouteMCKENZIE BRIDGE: Under plans approved in May, the McKenzie River Ranger District will relocate portions of the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail near Smith Reservoir. Parts of the existing trail were originally constructed in areas that officials determined were too steep, didn’t incorporate effective drainage, or were un-sustainable. Problems included erosion that might accelerate over time causing a variety of adverse impacts to the trails and environment, including damage which makes trails unsafe to use and increased turbidity in adjacent water systems. In addition, two bridges will be replaced.
The work plan calls for the new sections to be constructed by hand (no heavy equipment), though motorized tools may be used at times. Crews will remove brush and construct a tread from 18 to 22 inches wide). Unsustainable portions of the trail would be decommissioned and naturalized following completion of the proposed reroutes. Another part of the works will use water bars  to remove running water off of the tread.
The entrance and exit points of the old trail would be hidden by debris to discourage use.
Comments on the proposed action were accepted from April 8th to May 6th of 2016. No comments, either in support or opposed, were received.

MRT ClosuresParts of the McKenzie River Trail remain closed over the Labor Day Weekend, including the popular Blue Pool, at Tamolitch Falls, due to the Blue Top Fire. U.S. Forest Service fire closure orders remain in place for 6 miles of the McKenzie River Trail as well as the area surrounding Blue Pool and the pool itself. The Forest Service closed the area to protect the public from post-fire hazards: falling snags from the rock face above the pool, intermittent rolling rocks, and holes that appear solid, but are hollow and can cause severe burns to feet and legs. Officials report that when firefighters must escort violators out of the closed area it causes unnecessary delays in their suppression efforts. Security staff are on duty to intercept persons breaching the closure and violation notices will be issued.

Tamolitch PoolBlue Pool and portion of McKenzie River Trail temporarily closed as firefighters respond to wildfire

MCKENZIE BRIDGE:  Fire crews are responding to the 2-acre Blue Top Fire near Blue Pool and Tamolitch Falls along of the popular McKenzie River Trail (Trail #3507). To protect both the visiting pubic and to allow firefighters to safely manage the fire, the McKenzie River Trail is temporarily closed between the trailhead at Trail Bridge Campground off Forest Road 2600-355 and the trailhead at Carmen Reservoir.

“We realize this is a very popular destination for bikers and hikers.” said Fire Management Officer Randy Harbick. “This closure is in place to protect firefighter and public safety. We will open the McKenzie River Trail and Blue Pool as soon as possible.”

No public access will be permitted to the Blue Bool area. The McKenzie River Trail is still accessible to the west of Trail Bridge Campground and to the east of Carmen Reservoir. Hikers and bikers eager to escape hot valley temperatures and enjoy their national forest are encouraged to explore other beautiful destinations nearby such as Cougar Reservoir or Blue River Reservoir.

Mtn bike rescueLinn County Sheriff Bruce Riley reports the Linn County Sheriff's Office 9-1-1 Center received a call at 11:23 a.m. on Sunday reporting an injured mountain bicyclist on the McKenzie River Trail near Sahalie Falls. Sahalie Falls is located on Highway 126 near the Clear Lake Resort,  a popular destination for hiking and mountain bicycling.
The trail is narrow and consists of lava rock, large boulders, steep drop-offs and hazardous terrain. Deputies and 19 Linn County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) members responded to assist the injured bicyclist. They found Michael Roszak, 72, of Bend, had crashed his bicycle approximately eight-tenths of a mile south of the entrance to Cold Water Cove Campground. Roszak had been riding alone south toward Carmen Smith Reservoir when he collided with a large boulder on the side of the trail, possibly fracturing or dislocating his left hip. Roszak was unable to walk or move and remained on the trail for a short time until two off-duty Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT's) out of Grants Pass located Roszak.
The EMT's were identified as Brandon Rigaud and Jared Nichols; they too had been on the same trail mountain biking. Rigaud and Nichols were equipped with medical supplies and administered first aid.
An additional mountain bicyclist in the area rode from the crash scene to the Clear Lake Resort to make a satellite telephone call to 9-1-1. SAR members carried Roszak approximately one mile south to the trailhead at Carmen Smith Reservoir where he was transported by Sisters-Camp Sherman ambulance to St. Charles Hospital in Bend.
The Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Linn County Parks staff at Clear Lake Resort and the U.S. Forest Service.

Photo Courtesy Linn County Sheriff's Office


McKenzie River Reflections is the weekly newspaper serving Oregon's McKenzie River Valley. Available by mail for $23/yr in Lane County, $29/yr outside Lane. Digital subscriptions are $23/yr. Subscribe at: Purchase copies online at: Read about area communities including Cedar Flat, Walterville, Camp Creek, Leaburg, Vida, Nimrod, Finn Rock, Blue River, Rainbow and McKenzie Bridge.