Helen McGovern’s walking group took a hike down the Eagle Trail from Albany’s Takena Landing Park last week. Then she sent me a note: “Thanks to whoever cleaned up the trail. It was a pleasure to do the hike.” I went to see for myself, and she’s right. The trail is in great shape.
The 1.8-mile Eagle or Takena Landing trail meanders down the left bank of the Willamette River. It starts under the Lyon Street bridge and ends in a short loop roughly where Bowman Park is on the opposite bank. If memory serves, its name stems from a boy’s Eagle Scout project. Then-Governor Kitzhaber once led local cross-country teams on a run there during one of his first two terms.
In winter, the river occasionally floods sections of the path. But in summer it lies far above the water level, and for most of its length the dense undergrowth obscures any views of the river itself.
So what about this cleanup?
“Park maintenance did it this time with the sheriff’s work crew,” Rick Barnett of the Albany Parks Department told me when I asked.
The trail usually needs going over twice a year, once to remove downed trees after the river goes down in the spring and again right about now to cut back vegetation that otherwise would choke the unpaved path.
The parks department has launched a new effort to recruit volunteers to help care for Albany parks. That, Barnett points out, is an opportunity for people interested in helping to keep the Eagle Trail clear. (hh)