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Showing posts from May, 2013

Middle Fork Willamette Trail: Indigo Springs Area

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The Middle Fork Ranger District near the town of Oakridge is one of my favorite hiking destinations in all of Cascadia. Everything from high Cascade lakes to low elevation old-growth rainforest can be found here. Though there are many great trails in this area, the Middle Fork Trail is one of my favorites. Previously I have posted about Indigo Springs Campground and about a lower section of the Middle Fork Trail. This trip a friend and I set out to explore the Chuckle Springs area. 


There is limited parking at the trailhead from FR 21, but I prefer to park at the Indigo Springs Campground. Taking the short walk around there is definitely worth your time. Shortly after getting onto a spur trail you will come to a junction with the Middle Fork Trail. To reach Chuckle Springs walk left ( upriver). There are several decent sized streams that appear to be only seasonal, though after the heavy rain we have had don't count on keeping your feet dry. Abundant moisture contributes to some…

Menagerie Wilderness: Trout Creek to Rooster Rock

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The Menagerie Wilderness is relatively unknown to those who aren't rock climbers or from nearby. This area was protected primarily because of the plentiful rock pinnacles that are favorites of climbers and threatened birds. Though the unique forest that blankets the area is reason enough to visit.


Somewhere around 100 years ago a stand replacing fire burned through most of the area that is now the Menagerie Wilderness. This kind of high intensity fire is what naturally occurs in our western Oregon moist forests. Unlike dry forests that have a frequent fire interval western Oregon forests often go hundreds of years without a major fire. One of the largest fires in Oregon history occurred in the Cascade foothills, known as the Silverton fire, it burned 980,000-1,000,000 acres in 1865. Fires of this size haven't occurred recently because of aggressive firefighting tactics. This forest is so unique because it's not an old-growth native forest, but a 100 year old or so nativ…