Showing posts from January, 2014

North Fork Middle Fork Willamette Trail: Segment Five

Over the past 20 years both Oakridge and the Middle Fork Ranger District have dramatically shifted priorities from logging to outdoor recreation. This shift has lead to Oakridge becoming a world-class mountain bike destination. Some trails in the area are primarily used by mountain bikers, but all are open to hikers. After recently hiking the Shale Ridge trail, I thought it would be great to check out a section of the partially completed North Fork Middle Fork Willamette trail. Segment Five runs from Forest Road( FR) 1944 to the Shale Ridge trailhead. The Forest Service plans to eventually have a 35 mile trail that runs from Westfir to the Shale Ridge trailhead. But for now there are a few unconnected sections. I was short on time so the plan was to hike about 3 miles down the trail.

The only decent parking is just after crossing the bridge across the N.Fork M.Fork Willamette. As we walked back to the trailhead it looked like we might be getting our feet wet, but the trail quickly v…