News Release: Macleay Trail to reopen as Environmental Services nears completion of Balch Creek Trash Rack Replacement Project

Press Release
The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) announces the reopening of Forest Park’s Lower Macleay Trail at the start of April 2022. This important and popular trail connects Macleay Park to the Wildwood Trail in Portland’s Forest Park and was temporarily closed for a BES project.

Beginning on Saturday, April 2, hikers and trail users will once again be able to connect from the trailhead at NW Upshur Street and NW 30th Avenue up to the Stone House at the intersection with the Wildwood Trail. The staircase connecting the Thurman Street Bridge down to the park will also reopen at this time.

The reopening is occurring as BES nears the completion of a project to protect Balch Creek and the trail from clogs and flooding at the trailhead. At that location, the creek that flows through Forest Park ends at a large “trash rack.” That structure captures logs and debris before the water is channeled underground through a stormwater pipe to the Willamette River.

The Balch Creek Trash Rack Replacement Project completely rebuilt this nearly 100-year-old structure. During this project, the contractor rebuilt the footings and foundations, poured new concrete retaining walls, and installed a new steel rack system.

With this work complete, Environmental Services expects that the new trash rack will last for another 100 years.

Macleay Park itself will remain closed while grass and plant restoration takes place. Parking may be limited as well, as crews finish up final restoration activities. Trail users should always stay on the marked path, stay out of sensitive plantings, and avoid entering any remaining portions of the construction area.

“On behalf of the Bureau of Environmental Services, and Portland Parks & Recreation, we would like to thank nearby residents and lovers of this popular trail for their patience during this construction project,” said Emily Neuhaus, Environmental Services Construction Manager. 

“Balch Creek is a beautiful part of Forest Park, and the Lower Macleay Trail is one of the most loved places to hike in all of Portland. This project will help protect the park, the trail, and the nearby neighborhood from flooding and storm damage.”

More information about the project may be found on the Balch Creek Trash Rack Replacement and Repair project webpage.

The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services - your sewer and stormwater utility - provides Portland residents with programs to protect water quality and public health, including wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.