A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A Halloween ride on the Simpson Park Trail

Written October 31st, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Then entrance to the Simpson Park Trail, on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 31. 2021.

A sunny autumn afternoon makes for a perfect day for checking up on one of Albany’s best trails. So that’s what I did on Halloween —  take the bike down the Simpson Park Trail and back.

There’s an information sign at the park, telling us about the history of that place, starting when it was the site of a mill that made marine plywood to build PT boats during the Second World War.

There’s a lot more on that sign, and it’s worth your while to stand there for a few minutes and look it over.

To get there, of course, you take Front Avenue to its eastern end, where it turns into the tail end of Waverly Drive leading to the Talking Water Gardens and the parking lot that serves both the gardens and Simpson Park.

The acquisition of this park was the last major project of the Dave Clark era, and it serves as part of the lasting legacy of Albany’s legendary parks director.  The acreage, mostly between the river and First Lake, remains undeveloped except for the trail itself. There’s nothing but riparian wilderness to your right and to your left, as you can see:

On an afternoon like Sunday, sunny and mild, I would have expected lots of people there. But I encountered only four, along with a dog or two.

Another thing I did not see, besides crowds of people, was any sign of camping by the homeless. Maybe there were camps deeper in the bush than I could see. But in any case, there was no trace of any unauthorized activity anywhere along the 1.3-mile route.

That was a welcome surprise. (hh)

3 responses to “A Halloween ride on the Simpson Park Trail”

  1. Dick Olsen says:

    Thanks for the trip and reminding us of Dave Clark. We miss him.

  2. Terry Fuston says:

    I am really surprised you could ride out there. The terrain is almost not rideable for any bike tire. They need to lay down either dirt or gravel.


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