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Spencer Butte parking area reopens after ice storm

downed trees and debris
Brian Bull
Eugene's Ridgeline Trail was damaged by fallen trees and branches caused by the January 2024 ice storm.

Eugene reopened the parking area for one of the city’s most popular trails Friday afternoon. It had been closed since the ice storm wreaked havoc last month.

Crews have been clearing downed trees and branches in the Spencer Butte parking lot and at the trailhead for the well-traveled path to the summit in South Eugene.

Kelly Shadwick with Eugene Parks and Open Space said the number of trees impacted by the ice storm is overwhelming.

“I mean, we’re so lucky to have all these amazing trees in our city and in our natural areas, but if there is a storm like that it just impacts so many trees and creates hazards across the city,” Shadwick said.

Shadwick said even though the Ridgeline Trail is open to the public, hikers should use extreme caution as there are still hazard trees and branches. She said the park crews had only just begun their work to clear debris from the city’s expansive park system.

Because of storm damage, the public portable restrooms at Spencer Butte trailhead are not available.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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