Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

Found: Secret, Illicit Tunnels in an Oregon Park

Police are not happy.

The tunnel (not pictured) was built by “people who would rather avoid contact with law enforcement.” (Photo: Daniel Mayer/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Along the Simpson Park Trail, in Albany, Oregon, there’s a series of tunnel-like caves. The caves, reports the Albany Democrat-Herald, are “elaborate and can accommodate multiple people.” They’re built under a maple tree and a fir tree, and reinforced with tarps and wood. They’re basically a dream hide-out, but they’re also not long for this world.

The local police department first found the tunnels in June. They are pretty impressive tunnels. (There are many pictures here.) But police found evidence people had been camping there, which isn’t allowed. And the tunnels are not exactly safe. The construction undermined and destabilized the root systems of the trees above. The police are also worried that they’re being used by “people who would rather avoid contact with law enforcement,” the Democrat-Herald says. Officers recently found a person napping there who had drugs and a weapon.

One of the people police encountered near the tunnel, Gabe Vergara, said he’d constructed them, according to the Democrat-Herald, but that he’d never slept there. People dig tunnels for all sorts of reasons; these are impressive but nowhere near as elaborate as some personal tunnels.

Every day, we highlight one newly found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.