PENDLETON, Ore. (Oct. 21, 2022) —Umatilla National Forest staff are pleased to announce that Burnt Cabin Trail #3226 is reopened to the public. Contractors completed the installation of a new bridge today on the trail, which is located approximately six miles up the South Fork Walla Walla Trail on the Walla Walla Ranger District. This project was the final repair needed on the Burnt Cabin Trail to restore access to this popular route that connects South Fork Walla Walla to Target Meadows.
The old Burnt Cabin Trail bridge was removed in 2021 due to safety concerns with the bridge’s stability from rotting stringers. The bridge was initially closed to public access in 2017. The bridge then sustained additional damage during the 2020 flood event that impacted trails within the South Fork Walla Walla watershed and was subsequently removed. The Umatilla National Forest received funding through the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) to replace the Burnt Cabin Trail bridge and reestablish access to the area.
Following the completion of this work, the only remaining closure within the South Fork Walla Walla trail system is the segment of the South Fork Walla Walla Trail #3225 from Harris Park that travels through land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the National Forest boundary. The Forest Service is working with the BLM to identify options for repairing this segment of trail that remains damaged.
Additional GAOA projects may be implemented on the Umatilla National Forest soon and will be announced later if funding is allocated.
The funding for the Burnt Cabin Trail bridge replacement project is part of a $285 million investment on National Forests that is made possible by the newly created National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund, established in 2020 by the Great American Outdoors Act.
Nationally, the funds will allow the Forest Service to implement more than 500 infrastructure improvement projects essential to the continued use and enjoyment of national forests lands this year.
The projects will serve as a catalyst for economic development and employment opportunities in rural communities and will strengthen shared stewardship of national forests and grasslands by expanding the Forest Service work with public and private partners.
Projects funded by the Legacy Restoration Fund will contribute to efforts to develop more sustainable infrastructure resilient to climate change impacts. Projects may also address Administration objectives to provide improved recreational opportunities and access to underserved communities.
For more information on these projects in the Pacific Northwest Region, visit the regional GAOA website.
More information about the Umatilla National Forest is available at https://www.fs.usda.gov/umatilla.