MULTNOMAH FALLS, Ore. – Vandals have been putting hikers in danger at the popular Multnomah Falls trail.
"It must be happening in the evening and during off-hours because we'll check it every morning and that's when we'll see that something happened," said Forest Service spokeswoman Jen Kevil.
The Historic Benson Bridge over the picturesque Multnomah Falls and the connected trail were closed after a huge boulder broke loose from the mountainside in early January. But someone keeps taking the closure signs and cutting through the safety fences, according to Kevil.
The boulder fell onto the bridge in early January and left a gaping hole. Inspectors said it won’t be safe to cross until after Memorial Day, when repairs are completed.
Some people have been hiking along the dangerous section, not realizing the risk they’re taking because the warning signs were vandalized.
"It's probably very slippery too, so probably not very safe, said hiker Christine Doran. "You could probably fall through that hole pretty easily."
Kevil said two groups of hikers even had to be rescued after making their way down to the bridge, only to find it closed. Then, they turned around and got lost.
“We recognize the desire people have to access the bridge and are doing everything possible to complete the necessary repairs,” she added. “The Forest Service asks for your support and assistance to stop the ongoing vandalism.”
Kevil encouraged anyone who sees people vandalizing the fencing or the signs to notify authorities at 541-308-1700.