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New Loops Come to Life at Lyle Cherry Orchard

New Loops Come to Life at Lyle Cherry Orchard
View looking west from a new loop of the Lyle Cherry Orchard trail. (photographer: Gabe Smith)
By Renee Tkach
Gorge Towns to Trails Manager
November 26, 2019

Note: This post was updated in September 2020.

Trails don’t just build themselves.

It takes hours, days, weeks...years to plan, prepare and build quality trails. Now, thanks to a partnership between Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust and the Washington Trails Association (WTA) that takes advantage of the latter group's expertise at volunteer-built trails, the existing trail at the land trust's Lyle Cherry Orchard preserve has been altered and enhanced, making the lower part of the trail less treacherous and opening up new vistas from this eastern Gorge jewel.

The Cherry Orchard Loop trail provides new viewpoints and an additional 0.6-miles of trail through unique oak forests and rugged landscapes. Add this new route to your must-do hikes, and come out and experience the great work WTA has accomplished in the last year.
 
Still in the works, and slowed by the coronavirus pandemic, is another loop at the Lyle Cherry Orchard preserve: the separate Lyle Loop trail, accessing the northwest corner of the Lyle Cherry Orchard preserve. This loop construction, led by WTA, will provide an additional two miles of new trail, as well as feature views from a higher elevation than the Cherry Orchard Loop.

If you've helped build a trail, you’ll never look at them the same way. You will find yourself analyzing the tread, or complimenting the water bars, but most importantly you know that is took people hours, days, weeks and years to build that trail.
 
Stay tuned, as more opportunities to be a part of building the Gorge's newest trail are in the works!
 

Scenes from trail building at Lyle Cherry Orchard preserve, Oct. 26-27, 2019