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"The Barlow Road ... Summit Meadows to Government Camp"
Includes ... Barlow Road ... Summit Meadows ... Still Creek Campground ... Summit Ranger Station ... Government Camp ...
Image, 2013, Sign, Barlow Road, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road sign, Foster Farm, Eagle Creek, Oregon. Image taken May 4, 2013.


The Barlow Road ...
The Barlow Road was a part of the Oregon Trail. The road was authorized by the Oregon Legislature in 1845, and by September 1846, it made its way around the south side of Mount Hood. This 80-to-110-mile road provided an alternative to the dangerous and expensive route that used rafts to transport wagons down the Columbia River. The Barlow Road began at The Dalles, Oregon, headed south through Dufur and Tygh Valley (which some folks consider the start of the Barlow Road), then turned west at Gate Creek and generally followed the White River before it headed north through Barlow Pass and Government Camp. It then passed through "Tollgate #5" near today's Rhododendron and continued to the community of Sandy, where it turned west and ended up at Oregon City.


Follow the Barlow Road ... (east to west)


 
Summit Meadows to Government Camp

Overview ...

After criss-crossing with today's Oregon Highways 26 and 35, the Barlow Road route dips slightly south, crossing today's Oregon Highway 26 just east of the USFS Road #2656 junction (the road to Trillium Lake). The Barlow Road then turns west-northwest heading to Summit Meadows, then north and west to Still Creek Campground heading towards Government Camp. Highlights include Summit Meadows, Summit House, Perry Vicker's House (the 3rd Tollgate), the Pioneer Cemetery, "Graffiti Rocks", Still Creek Campground, and the USFS Barlow Road Trail #601A.


Image, 1992, Barlow Road, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Detail, 1992 Map, Early Barlow Road crossing USFS Road #2656 and heading through Summit Meadows, Still Creek Campground, Summit Ranger Station, and on to Government Camp.

Source:   Beckham, S.D., and Hanes, R.C., 1992, The Barlow Road, Clackamas County, Oregon, Inventory Project, Historic Context, 1845-1919, prepared for the Clackamas County Department of Transportation and Development, August 1992.

  • Orange - Barlow Road.
  • Blue - Oregon Highway 26.
  • Green - USFS Road #2656.

Trillium Lake Sno-Park ...

After being criss-crossed by today's Oregon Highways 26 and 35, the Barlow Road route dips south, crossing today's Oregon Highway 26 just east of the USFS Road #2656 junction. Here the Barlow Road route turns northwest and, as it heads towards Summit Meadows, the route crosses USFS Road #2656, the road to Trillium Lake. A portion of the trace can be found at the Tillium Lake Sno-Park, and then again just after it crosses Road #2656.

"... At the intersection of US Hwy 26 and Forest Road 2656 is a large winter Sno-Park parking area. Visitors may take a short hike into the island of trees at the northeast corner of the parking area and discover an original wagon route trace. You can walk 100 yards down the Trillium Lake road (2656) and discover another isolated trace to the right that heads towards Summit Meadow. It is difficult to walk all the way to the meadow because of standing water and beaver ponds. The old road crossed this area on "corduroy" which was made up of logs and boards laid down across the wet areas. ..."
[U.S. Forest Service information handout, "Where to find Oregon Trail wagon ruts on the Mount Hood National Forest", obtained at the Zigzag Ranger Station, November 2012]

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.25, NE1/4)


Image, 2013, Barlow Road trace at Trillium Sno-Park, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road at Trillium Sno-Park. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road trace at Trillium Sno-Park, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road at Trillium Sno-Park. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road trace at Trillium Sno-Park, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road at Trillium Sno-Park. Image taken October 14, 2013.

Crossing USFS Road #2656 ...

From the Trillium Lake Sno-Park, walk approximately 300 feet down U.S. Forest Service Road #2656 (Trillium Lake Road) to an isolated trace of the Barlow Road heading west (right) towards Summit Meadow. According to the U.S. Forest Service information handout, "Where to find Oregon Trail wagon ruts on the Mount Hood National Forest", obtained at the Zigzag Ranger Station, November 2012: "It is difficult to walk all the way to the meadow because of standing water and beaver ponds. The old road crossed this area on "corduroy" which was made up of logs and boards laid down across the wet areas."

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.25, NE1/4)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... [Here] the Barlow Road again possesses excellent integrity. The trace is visible on a roadside cut of the Forest road running south to Trillium Lake. The Barlow Road descends almost due west through virgin forest to the eastern margin of Summit Meadows. ..."

Image, 2013, Barlow Road at USFS Road 2656, click to enlarge
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Sign, Barlow Road where it crosses USFS Road #2656. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road at USFS Road 2656, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road at USFS Road #2656. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road at USFS Road 2656, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road at USFS Road #2656. Image taken October 14, 2013.

Trillium Lake ...

While Trillium Lake itself wasn't on the main path the wagons took, according to the information panel at Summit Meadow some pioneers did use the area of Trillium Lake (then a meadow) for grazing their livestock. Trillium Lake is located less than a mile south of the Barlow Road.

""Drove to the Summit Prairie. Found plenty of grass in the Second Prairie." (now Trillium Lake). [Orange Gaylord -- 185_]

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.25, NE1/4)


Image, 2013, Mount Hood as seen from Trillium Lake, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood as seen from Trillium Lake. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Mount Hood as seen from Trillium Lake, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood and Trillium Lake. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Trillium Lake, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Trillium Lake, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.

Summit Meadows ...

Summit Meadows is a beautiful group of meadows with spectacular views of Mount Hood. The Barlow Road route runs through the meadows following the northern edge. Summit Meadows was a stopping place for pioneers to rest and graze their animals, preparing for the descent of Laurel Hill coming up the next day.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.25, elevation 3,655 feet)
(45.17.02N, 121.44.14W)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... The Barlow Road descends almost due west through virgin forest to the eastern margin of Summit Meadows. The segment is sharply defined by deep ruts in the ground and, in places, by stacks of rocks to the roadside. At Summit Meadows the road enters a dense thicket of alders and is impassable. Over the years those who maintained the road laid down a corduroy section across the northern part of Summit Meadows. These logs have settled into the swamp and have become covered with alders and willows.

Summit Meadows was an important landmark and camping place for emigrants on the Barlow Road. In the years 1845-1865 it was the only clearing and the best prospect for finding feed for livestock. Although many cursed its sedge and lamented the condition of their animals, most stopped at the meadows to camp and prepare for the next challenge of the trail. ..."



"Sumate Prairie"
"... An original gathering place for Native American indians, in 1866 squatter Perry Vickers built the first log cabin here which became another tollgate. By 1905 a large wooden structure known as Summit House, a cedar shake tipi, a barn and corral occupied this clearning. The meadow eventually became a popular camping spot for Willamette Valley recreationalists.

"Very little good grass for our cattle tonight, but plenty of sour mountain grass (meadow rushes)." [E.W. Conyers -- 1852]

"Mount Hood stands just north of our camp, with its lofty, white dome penetrating the ethereal _____ as if it had sworn to remain an eternal barrier to the clouds ..." [John Tully Kearns, Emigrant of 1853]

"Drove to the Summit Prairie. Found plenty of grass in the Second Prairie." (now Trillium Lake). [Orange Gaylord -- 185_]



Source:    Information sign, Summit Prairie, visited July 6, 2012

Image, 2013, Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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View of Summit Meadows, Barlow Road, Mount Hood, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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October ... Summit Meadows, Barlow Road, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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July ... Summit Meadows, Barlow Road, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Information sign located at Summit Meadows, Barlow Road, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2012.
Image, 2013, Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood and Summit Meadows, Barlow Road, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2012, Mount Hood from Summit Meadows, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood as seen from Summit Meadows, Barlow Road, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2012.

Summit Meadows ... Summit House

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.25)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... The site of the Summit House is located at the northwestern corner of Summit Meadows and about 150 feet east of Still Creek. Following Perry Vickers' settling at this site in 1866, the owners of the Barlow Road used this point until 1871 as a toll station. By 1905 the site features included the followings: (1) Summit House, a one and one-half story, wood frame building with vertical board and batten siding and a hip-on-gable roof; (2) tepee, a conical building with an exterior of hewn, cedar shakes and a band of imbricated shingles; ...   (3) barn; (4) corral; and (5) gate on the Barlow Road. ...   At this site are stone footings for the foundation of the tepee and the Summit House. Between the building site and the Barlow Road are several inscribed boulders. ...

At the Summit House the Barlow Road turned north to follow the east bank of Still Creek for about a quarter mile. The historical integrity of the road is compromised in this short segment. The road is graded, graveled, and maintained as East Summit Road [note, today East Perry Vickers Road]. ..."


Summit Meadows ... Perry Vickers House ... Third Tollgate (1866 to 1871)

The third tollgate established on the Barlow Road (1866 to 1871) was located at today's Summit Meadows, a location wagon trains would pause and rest, preparing for the descent down Laurel Hill. Perry Vickers was the gate keeper and his cabin was the toll house. At this point the Barlow trail crossed from northeast to southwest. Today all that remains of the tollgate is a rectangular rock outline of Perry Vickers toll house.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.25)


Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Rock outline of the Vickers' house, Summit Meadows, Barlow Road. View of the northwest corner. Perry Vickers was the gate keeper and his cabin was the toll house for the Barlow Road between 1866 and 1871. Image taken July 6, 2012.

Summit Meadows ... Pioneer Cemetery

The Summit Meadows Pioneer Cemetery is owned by the Clackamas County Historical Society and includes three marked graves within a picket fence enclosure. The grave on the left is undentified, the one in the middle reads P. Vickers, and the one on the right is Baby Barclay. Perry Vickers was the Barlow Road toll gate keeper from 1866 to 1870. To the north of the enclosure lies another grave, today marked with a bronze plaque mounted on the west face of a large boulder. This is the grave of "Baby Morgan", who died as a result of an accident and was buried at Summit Meadows on October 24, 1847.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.25, elevation 3,661 feet)
(45.17.08N, 121.44.17W)


Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Sign, Pioneer Cemetery, Summit Meadows, Barlow Road. Image taken July 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Pioneer Cemetery, Summit Meadows, Barlow Road. Image taken July 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Grave marker of Baby Barclay, Pioneer Cemetery, Summit Meadows, Barlow Road. Image taken July 6, 2012.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Grave marker of Perry Vickers, Pioneer Cemetery, Summit Meadows, Barlow Road. Image taken July 6, 2012.

Summit Meadows ... Baby Morgan Grave

To the north of the Pioneer Cemetery enclosure lies another grave, today marked with a bronze plaque mounted on the west face of a large boulder. This is the grave of "Baby Morgan", who died as a result of an accident and was buried at Summit Meadows on October 24, 1847.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.25, elevation 3,661 feet)
(45.17.08N, 121.44.17W)

THIS MARKS THE GRAVE
OF
BABY MORGAN
INFANT DAUGHTER OF
DANIEL AND RACHEL WOODSIDES MORGAN
BORN NEAR INDEPENDENCE ROCK, JUNE, 1847
WHERE HER MOTHER DIED, JUNE 21, 1847.
THE BABY DIED AS A RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT AND
WAS BURIED HERE AT SUMMIT MEADOWS OCT. 24, 1847.
BURIAL WITNESSED BY
JACOB AND SARAH WOODSIDES CAPLINGER.
"SWEETLY RESTS OUR BABY DEAR
ALL THE LABOR CEASES HERE
FAR FROM HOME THOUGH LAID TO SLEEP
LOVING HEARTS THY MEMORY KEEP."
DEDICATED BY DESCENDANT RELATIVES, AUG. 20, 1957.

Image, 2013, Baby Morgan grave, Summit Meadows, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Baby Morgan grave, Summit Meadows, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Baby Morgan grave, Summit Meadows, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Baby Morgan grave, Summit Meadows, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Baby Morgan grave, Summit Meadows, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Baby Morgan grave, Summit Meadows, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Baby Morgan grave, Summit Meadows, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Plaque, Baby Morgan grave, Summit Meadows, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.

Summit Meadows ... "Graffiti Rocks"

Large rocks with nearly all having early 1900s graffiti on them are located on the north side of USFS Road #131 (East Perry Vickers Road), about 500 feet west of the Summit Meadows and the Pioneer Cemetery turnout. There were 10 such rocks identified in 1989.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.25)


Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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J. Pawson "graffiti rock", Summit Meadows, Barlow Road. Image taken July 6, 2012.

Engraved in the rock is "J. Pawson 48-9-50-1-2-3-". Between 1848 and 1853 Mr. J. Pawson was the road commissioner who led a crew to improve the Barlow Road.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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1906 "graffiti rock", Summit Meadows, Barlow Road. Image taken July 6, 2012.

According to the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report (1992), the carvings on this rock are actually "RH 1906- J.R.K.". This inscription stands for Ralph Hall and Joyce Raymond Kelly who camped with Kelly's parents and sisters at Summit Meadows during the summer of 1906. Esther Kelly Watson recalled that her family inscribed a number of boulders in front of the Summit House when camping at this site.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Closein view, 1906 "graffiti rock", Summit Meadows, Barlow Road. Image taken July 6, 2012.

Still Creek and East Perry Vickers Road ...

From Summit Meadows the Barlow Road route heads north, staying slightly east of today's USFS Road #131 (East Perry Vickers Road) until it finally overlaps with the Forest Service road and disappears under the gravel. The route then follows the east bank of Still Creek and goes through the Still Creek Campground, exiting at camp site #1.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.24)


Image, 2012, Barlow Road, Still Creek Campground, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Still Creek as seen from Barlow Road at Still Creek Campground. View from Still Creek Campground, Site #1, at bridge crossing Still Creek at the beginning of the Barlow Road segment to Government Camp. Image taken July 6, 2012.
Image, 2013, Barlow Road, Still Creek Campground, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Still Creek as seen from Barlow Road at Still Creek Campground. View from Still Creek Campground. Image taken October 14, 2013.

Still Creek Campground ...

The Still Creek Campground straddles the Barlow Road, with the Barlow trail entering at the southeast corner (East Perry Vickers Road) and exiting the campground at camp site #1, where it proceeds to the Summit Ranger Station and Government Camp.

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.24)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... The Barlow Road ... passes through the west side of Still Creek Campground. ... The road system within the campground is covered with asphalt, including the trace of the Barlow Road ... This is Forest Road 2650. ..."

Image, 2012, Varied Thrush, Still Creek Campground, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Varied Thrush, female, on the Barlow Road, Still Creek Campground, Oregon. Image taken July 6, 2012.

In 1806 Meriwether Lewis, of the Lewis and Clark expedition and who had never seen a Varied Thrush before, referred to this bird as a "pale yellow Streiked and dove coloured robin".

Still Creek Campground ... Swim

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.24, elevation 3,901 feet)
(45.17.59N, 121.44.07W)

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"... Swim was a resort site which took advantage of a small hot spring which oozes out of the ground about 100 feet west of Still Creek and due north of the trace of the Barlow Road. The site was first developed about 1913-15. By the 1920s Swim had an enclosed, concrete pool, post office, and several log cabins. Swim served as the area's postal station through 1929. In the fall of 1927 Ole Langerud developed a ski jump near this location. None of the Barlow Road emigrants noted this site.

By 1989 the site of Swim is barely discernible. Most of the concrete pool has disintegreated, though sections of the walls remain. They are mostly obscured by dense growth of alder and willow. A low stone wall about 25 inches high and located about 60 feet north of the Barlow Road is visible on the floor of the forest. It once marked the front yard of the lodge or resort. ..."


Image, 2013, Swim pool wall remains, Still Creek Campground, click to enlarge
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Pool wall remains at Swim, Still Creek Campground, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2013, Swim building foundation, Still Creek Campground, click to enlarge
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Building foundation at Swim, Still Creek Campground, Oregon. Image taken October 14, 2013.

USFS Barlow Trail #601A ...

Excerpt from the Barlow Road National Register of Historic Places Nomination Report, 1992:
"[Near campsite #1] the Barlow Road again exhibits high historical and visual qualities. The route crosses the course of a warm water spring and ascends in a slightly northwesterly direction to Summit Ranger Station and Government Camp. The trace of the road is sharply defined by ruts, deep cuts, and stacks of stones to the margins on the floor of the dark forest. This section of the road is cleared and is used as a cross-country ski trail between Government Camp and Summit Meadows. A rustic, log bridge spans Still Creek at the road crossing. Its purpose is to permit skiiers to cross the stream. It was not a feature encountered by emigrants, but its materials and construction are compatible with the forest setting and present use of the old road. [note, apparently a newer non-rustic looking bridge in 2012]. ..."

(T3S, R8 1/2E, Sec.24)


Image, 2012, Barlow Road, Still Creek Campground, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road at Still Creek Campground. View from Still Creek Campground, Site #1, at bridge crossing Still Creek at the beginning of the Barlow Road segment to Government Camp. Looking towards Barlow Road trail. Image taken July 6, 2012.
Image, 2013, Summit Meadows, Mount Hood, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road at Still Creek Campground. View from Still Creek Campground, Site #1, at bridge crossing Still Creek at the beginning of the Barlow Road segment to Government Camp. Looking back at campground. Image taken October 14, 2013.
Image, 2012, Barlow Road, Still Creek Campground, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Barlow Road near Still Creek Campground. The Barlow Road cuts through the Still Creek Campground and continues to Government Camp. Image taken July 6, 2012.



  • NEXT: Government Camp to Laurel Hill
    • Overview ...
    • USFS Barlow Trail #601A ...
    • Summit Ranger Station ...
    • Government Camp ...
    • Government Camp Route Segment ...
    • Government Camp ... Mount Hood Cultural Center & Museum
    • Ski Bowl West ...
    • Government Camp to Laurel Hill ...
    • Glacier View Sno-Park ...






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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

Lat/Long were obtained from plotting location on National Geographic's TOPO! program, 3.4.3, 2003.

Sources:    [See Barlow Road Sources]

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October 2013