Front Page, Outdoors

Oakridge Trails Alliance hosts trail advocate mixer

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By KATHY HOLSTON/for The Herald

ATCA and GOATS consolidate to form OTA

Nearly a dozen groups were represented at the meeting. Michelle Emmons photo

Wheels, Heels and Hoofs…..Did you see the Bikes and the Norwegian Fjord horses tethered on First Street on Monday evening, the 17th, on First Street in Oakridge?

Using a BBQ and a Board meeting on Monday evening to bring together both individuals and partner organizations, the Oregon Trails Alliance (OTA) summer trail mixer was a huge success.

The stated purpose was to share what is happening on the Oakridge systems, and to celebrate the cooperative efforts of those organizations and individuals that are making these things happen. The group heard from representatives of:

  •  Oregon Backcountry Horsemen, Emerald Empire Chapter, Becky Hope
  •   Off Road Vehicle (OHV)- Ethan
  •   Obsidians Mountaineering and Hiking – MaryAnn Reiter
  •   Oakridge Disc Golf Course – Jason Nehmer
  •   US Forest Service – Kevin Rowell
  •   Cascade Volunteers
  •   Disciples of Dirt- Lee Wilkensen
  •   Oregon Timber Trail Alliance
  •   Southern Willamette Solutions – Sarah Altemus Pope
  •   Five Rivers Clean-up – Jay Skordahl
  •   Oakridge NICA – (National Interscholastic Cycling Association)- Eugene Cathcart
  • Westfir N. Confluence Access and ADA Trail
  •  Mayor Bryan Cutchen
Lee Wilkensen represented Disciples of Dirt at the event. Michelle Emmons photo

Projects included not only improvements to specific trail sections in the forest, but those gathered also heard about projects that are underway within the city of Oakridge.

Improvements to the Pump Track at Diamond View Park are being presented at City Council on Thursday night, the status of converting the Trestle to the Oakridge Industrial Park (OIP) into a Trails Trestle spearheaded by Sue Cathcart and the work being done on the old “flume” trail by Robert’s Road and terminating at the OIP (Southern Willamette Solutions) are projects in the works.   Mayor Cutchen shared about the grant that was received by the Middle Fork Willamette Watershed Council to improve the boat launch area in Westfir that will include paving and toilet facilities.

Business owners were represented by the Chamber and individual entrepreneurs from our community who benefit from our recreation economy.

Equestrians are in on the consolidation process to ensure that their group is heard. Michelle Emmons photo

Kevin Rowell, US Forest Service, spoke about the Community Trails Plan that was crafted in 2018 and the importance of community input and volunteers to the Willamette National Forest.

According to Matt McPharlin, President of OTA, this Trail Mixer will become a monthly opportunity.  Contact OTA and ask to receive their newsletter to stay informed about upcoming opportunities to volunteer and events.

OTA always looking for volunteers

OTA has volunteer opportunities for those who want to work directly on the trails, as well as opportunities for those who may want to assist those working by providing nourishment, administrative work, tool repair etc.  Youth and families are encouraged to volunteer also.

For more information about OTA, follow them on Facebook


Email:  [email protected]


The Oakridge Trails Alliance was founded as the Alpine Trail Crew Association (ATCA) in 2018 to meet the additional challenges of taking care of trails on the north side of Hwy. 58 in the Middle Fork Ranger District. Since then, ATCA established its 501c(3) status, and moved to consolidate with the former trails stewardship organization, Greater Oakridge Area Trail Stewards, forming the Oakridge Trails Alliance (OTA). The OTA board is an active group of contributing trails stewardship groups outside of the Middle Fork Ranger District (such as Disciples of Dirt, Oregon Timber Trail Alliance, and Cascade Volunteers) and business owners that directly depend on trails for tourism clientele, such as TransCascadia Excursions, Cog Wild Mountain Biking Tours, Willamette Mountain Mercantile, Mudslinger Events, and Mountain Bike Oregon.

oakridge mayor kathy holston nichols, kathy holston
Oakridge resident Kathy Holston serves on a number of volunteer boards and committees around the area. She is retired from the University of Oregon.



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