On Tuesday, August 20th, 2019, a crew of volunteers from The Oroville Initiative (TOI) and longtime trail stewards, Joseph Enzensperger and Jerry & Marci King, began a much needed cleanup of the Similkameen trailhead and parking area located at the west end of Kearny Road in downtown Oroville.
Armed with rakes, shovels, and a tractor loaned by TOI President Jeff Bunnel, the crew removed trash, moved a number of cement blocks and rocks, mowed the tall grass pathway and began level work on the rough parking area.
The Similkameen River Trail, part of the larger interstate Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, receives over 5000 visits each year including as many as 100 thru and segment hikers traveling the PNT. Being the approximate midpoint of the 1200-mile Pacific Northwest Trail makes Oroville-one of only a few towns the trail passes through- a natural waypoint on a traveler's journey. In fact, some PNT travelers choose to flip flop: begin in Oroville and travel east to the terminus in Glacier National Park, then return to Oroville and journey west to the terminus on the Pacific coast.
The volunteer group's goal is to remake the trailhead into a more appealing and useful site with improved signage and information posts, a visitor log, and graveled parking area, to start. And additional signage in town to make the trail more easily located by those traveling the Pacific Northwest Trail.
Members have been in contact with Okanogan County-who actually owns the property the trailhead sits on-the City of Oroville, and other groups seeking help with funds, equipment and supplies.
If you would like to help maintain and improve the Similkameen River Trail-please contact your neighbors:
TOI: Jeff Bunnel
Similkameen River and trails advocate: Joseph Enzensperger
To learn more about the PNT and other trail work parties in the region, visit pnt.org