Exciting updates to the Lebanon trail system!

The Lebanon Trail System is seeing a large increase in trail use. The word is getting out about Lebanon’s high quality, free-to-use, off-street trails. Due to health concerns, we haven’t been able to hold our usual monthly events but 2021 is proving to be a very exciting year for Lebanon’s trail system. Here’s what’s going on.

Old Mill Trail

Old mill site, Ridgeway Butte in background

Old mill site, Ridgeway Butte in background

The Old Mill Trail (OMT) will be a 4,100-foot-long by 12-foot-wide trail. The new trail will run along the west bank of the South Santiam River on top of the existing flood dike. This premiere trail will include LED lighting, benches, interpretative signs, viewing areas, and natural play structures. See the route maps and other photos at the end of this post.

The ground work – literally – has already been done. In 2020 the Rick Franklin Corporation starting clearing the trail corridor by leveling the top of the existing flood protection dike and removing all of the overgrown vegetation and invasive species from the 20-foot-wide trail corridor.

OMT near south trailhead, Mayfly neighborhood

OMT near south trailhead, Mayfly neighborhood

The trail is currently open for use and has an unimproved dirt surface.

The Old Mill Trail is a $923,573 project and project funding is almost complete. We have major donations from The Heatherington Foundation, Thad and Joanne Nelson, and a pending grant from a public agency. BLT is also contributing $25,000 from our existing trail development funds to the project.

To take full advantage of a $50,000 challenge grant offered by Dr. Thad and Joanne Nelson, BLT is committed to raising an additional $50,000 and we have already raised over 75% of that, thanks to many contributions from you, our community. When the challenge grant is met, the project will be fully funded. If you’d like to contribute to that effort, please use our donation form. All donations we receive in 2021 are being allocated to OMT development unless you earmark them for something else on the donation form. We love working for you and greatly appreciate all of your donations and volunteer efforts!

The City of Lebanon is managing the Old Mill Trail project and providing project design and onsite inspection services. Trail construction is planned to start in mid-2021 with completion in 2022.

South Shore Trail (Phase One) at Cheadle Lake

Map of the Cheadle Lake South Shore TrailThe next trail development project on the horizon is the first phase of what’s called the South Shore Trail. We will construct a paved trail between the Youth Soccer Fields on the south shore of Cheadle Lake around the west side of the lake to the existing paved North Shore Trail. Future Phases Two and Three will include the extension of the south shore trail towards the west of the soccer fields and three walk bridges over the lake and side-channel waterways.

More trail signs

Example of trail signage

Example of trail signage

Trail users will soon be seeing new wayfinding trail signs along several existing trails. The new signs are designed to guide trail users with new trail maps including trail connections and distance measurements.

Other improvements

Here are some access improvements:

  • The “Three Walk Bridge” trail, with an early warning pedestrian crossing on River Drive making the street crossing much safer for trail users. The completion of the walk bridges created a continuous, off-street, hard-surfaced, 10-foot-wide trail between the City limits at Weirich Drive on the south and Riverview Park on the West River Trail to the north.
  • The 10-foot-wide Russell Drive Trail connecting Main Street to Porter Park, Cheadle Lake Park, and the West River Trail.


OMT on dike looking North