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Recreation site in Mt. Hood National Forest will be closed while projects are completed

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: PORTLAND GENERAL ELECTRIC - The Lake Harriet Campground and Day Use Area will soon receive expanded parking and picnic areas, a floating dock and new restrooms and a reconfigured campground. Upgrades are expected to be complete next summer.

Next summer, the Lake Harriet Campground and Day Use Area will have a new look.

Portland General Electric, the group that operates the site in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, plans to create expanded parking and picnic areas, a floating dock and new restrooms, as well as reconfigure the area's campground. The area will be closed until next summer while renovations are completed.

Some of the upgrades are in response to the expansion of a creek that runs along the campground. Previously, there were 10 campsites available, and after the work is completed there will be eight.

"The readjustments (to the campground) will better reflect the space that's available," said Steve Corson of Portland General Electric's corporate communications department.

Corson added that he believes people will appreciate the renovated campground.

"We're working with what Mother Nature provided," he said.

Corson also thinks the new floating dock will be a valuable addition to the area. Once it's completed, the structure will span approximately 500 feet and provide visitors a new way to access the lake.

"(With the new dock), fishermen can access the lake in a way that they haven't been able to before," he said.

In addition to these improvements, the area's parking lot will be reconfigured to include additional parking for both vehicles and boat trailers.

On the whole, Corson said the series of projects "will be nice enhancements for the park."

Though some preliminary work has been completed, the projects are on hiatus because of a fire ban on the Mt. Hood National Forest, which includes the operation of heavy equipment.

Located 30 miles east of Estacada, Lake Harriet is a 22-acre reservoir that is home to rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout. In addition to fishing, many visitors to the lake also enjoy boating and canoeing on the water. The nearby campground is located in a forest of alder trees.

The improvements at Lake Harriet are part of Portland General Electric's most recent licence with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which allows them to operate hydroelectric projects on the Clackamas River. Other recreation projects that the company has completed as part of this license include improvements at Promontory Park and Moore Creek, Hole in the Wall and Sandstone Bridge boater access sites.

"We're pleased with what's been accomplished so far and look forward to having visitors enjoy the enhancements at Lake Harriet," Corson said.

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