The thing we feared the most with the Knappa trails, and the reason the exact location of the trails has been kept out of the public eye has come true. The gate has been locked to the public, ending shuttle access, and effectively shutting down access to the DH trails. The irony is that it wasn’t due to increased visits from downhill riders from out of town, but from rowdy locals leaving garbage, shooting guns, and under age drinking.
The local land managers apparently still plan to allow responsible recreation on the land, and they have always been friendly with riders. However, with a 40 minute to hour long walk to the top of the shuttle drop off point, it is unlikely that down hill riders will be utilizing the local trails until the gates re-open in August, during hunting season.
Local mountain bikers hope to regain access to the trails after that, as the gates will possibly remain closed and locked. Local rider and trail builder Ed Jones will be representing local advocacy group Lower Columbia Bike Project in meeting with the local land owners. At this time, a walk through of the existing trails is likely to take place. Like the land managers at Longview Timber, the owners of Scappoose, erosion is likely to be a consideration. A few reroutes began this spring to address some of that, and it is hoped access is regained, and a more official relationship with the land owners can be established.
In the meantime, the trails are still ridable and in excellent condition. Jeff Lebo and I began flagging an all mountain line that contours the access road this winter that eventually will reach the top of the mountain. (about three miles are currently roughed in) The line is designed to be fun while still slowly climbing and gaining elevation, and was designed with the thought that gate access may be restricted at some point in the future. While we knew the gates may be locked at some point, it is a bit disappointing.