ANOTHER VOICE: Prevent problems on Indian Creek Trail

The following is our letter to Hood River Parks and Recreation District regarding safety concerns on the Indian Creek Trail:

My wife and I are frequent walkers on the Indian Creek Trail between the access near Dutch Bros at 12th Street and the trail end at Hazel Street. We have some concerns about safety that we feel need to be addressed by all of you.

First, in just the last couple of weeks we have been nearly run over by people on bicycles coming very fast down the trail, at a couple of the blind corners, while we were walking up the trail. Only by quickly grabbing my wife and pushing her to the side of the trail did we avoid being hit. On Sunday that incident was caused by three men on mountain bikes.

The use of that portion of the Indian Creek Trail is probably a ratio of 25 or more walkers/runners to each bicycle. It is a walkers and runners trail, but bicycle use seems to be increasing, setting up a dangerous situation. Often we encounter families with small children, who could easily be severely injured by a collision with a bicyclist coming down hill.

We believe the use of bicycles on that portion of the trail is inappropriate. The trail is too narrow and steep for dual purpose use, and several blind corners make it even more dangerous. Something needs to be done, and soon, before a tragedy takes place.

Second, we have concerns about the use of the trail where it crosses Indian Creek just below Dutch Bros at 12th Street being used as a “hang-out” for street people. We believe there is a potential for criminal acts like assault taking place. When we walk the trail, if there is a group of street people there, we avoid that area and walk around on 12th Street.

Is there any city ordinance regarding loitering on Parks and Rec. property?

Further, we are concerned the obvious littering and pollution that the street people are perpetrating. Often when we can walk through that area, there is garbage, cigarette butts, beer bottles, etc. left behind.

And the fact that this is all occurs right where Indian Creek comes out of the culvert under 12th Street means that a lot of the garbage pollutants, cigarette butts, and even urine are ending up in the Indian Creek water. This creates a pollution issue that would likely be unacceptable to the Oregon DEQ, and definitely should be unacceptable to the Parks and Rec. District.

Please address both of these issues. Hood River has been cited as one of the safest, cleanest, and most desirable small cities in our region. We as a community all need to help keep it that way.

If not dealt with, the concerns we have raised here will soon depreciate that image.

Chris and Mayrie Welp live in Hood River.

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge


Edward says...

Could not agree more. I jog that potion twice a week and have seen street people smoking weed and meth as well as came upon a teen taking a deuce just of the side of the trail. Something must be done. I refuse to stop using the trail and give it over due to their persitant dwelling. My wife and kids refuse to use that section even with me. I hate to be insensitive but this has to be resolved. Drugs and public deification is not what we should encounter on our morning jogs. Come on Hood River PD, do something.....

Posted 26 April 2014, 8:55 a.m. Suggest removal

Cris22 says...


I personally have stopped using Indian Creek Trail. I have lived here nearly 10 years, and in the last year, I have seen people doing drugs, offering drugs, urinating, defecating, and camping there on the trail. The scariest part of it is the harassment - having men twice my size cat call and make lewd comments as I try to make my way past them. They often do not move aside for women joggers. I could smell the alcohol on them, despite it barely being 12pm on a weekday.

Why hasn't this been taken care of yet? I know I am not the only woman who has been frightened away from the trail. Are the police waiting for an assault to happen before these folks are told to stop camping there?

Posted 1 May 2014, 2:03 p.m. Suggest removal

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners