Walk in a Woodland Canyon
Solutions for a steep ravine in Portland's SW hills
The clients' number one request for this design and Joy Creek installation: a trail to walk their dog. More specifically--an accessible trail, a simple loop, so they could enjoy their daily walks in the forest below their SW Portland home. This would be no easy task, the owners knew, as their efforts to enjoy that woodland were thwarted by one thing: the slope.
Our solution, which I credit to a close collaboration with the contractor (the building skills of Joy Creek Nursery's Mike Smith and his crews), involved steps of two different designs, switchbacks, and one section that was engineered almost as a bridge. All paths were built as "cuts" (as opposed to "fill"), as this is far more stable in terms of slides.
All path surfaces are gravel, which drains perfectly and makes the walk dry at all times during the year. To overcome the daunting task of wheelbarrowing rock and gravel down the 50' elevation drop, clever feats of delivery by shoots was engineered by the crew.