Trails offer numerous aesthetic and recreational opportunities, as well as commuter options for traveling to and from destinations in Oregon City. Residents who desire to bicycle or walk to work, go for a family bicycle ride to the park, library, or along the Willamette and Clackamas Rivers, or experience an undeveloped natural area will benefit from safe, connecting trails. Trails often help raise property values, provide common space for social interactions, improve overall community safety, and encourage healthy lifestyles. They can also improve over-use conditions in sensitive environmental areas when designed properly.
A high-quality trail system is a marker of a community that is truly great to live, work, and play in. The Oregon City Trails Master Plan (referred to as the Plan) uses the term "trail" to describe shared use paths, multi-use trails, sidewalks, and hiking pedestrian paths designed for non-motorized usage. Sidewalks or paths directly adjacent to roadways are included when they provide a link between trails or between a trail and a destination. Trail users may include but are not limited to:
Users of other wheeled devices like Segways or electric assist-bicycles
Wheelchair users (both non-motorized and motorized)
In some cases, equestrians and non-motorized water activities
Oregon City has many opportunities to develop a quality trail system. Many of its parks and greenspaces have their own internal trails. Some of them have been formally developed, and others have been created by user demand where people have simply walked and created a path. Many streets in newer developments and the older historic core have sidewalks. There are a number of opportunities to create a unique trail system on the Newell Creek Canyon rim and to develop trails as larger plots of land are subdivided into smaller residential areas.
As part of the development of the Plan, project staff analyzed the existing trail system and street network. The Plan recommends improvements that will upgrade the existing system where needed, fill in the missing gaps, and connect to significant environmental features, schools, public facilities, local neighborhoods, and business districts in Oregon City and throughout the region.