Old Growth Ridge

photo: The Old Growth Ridge National Recreation Trail rises from the streamside in the moisture rich hills of Oregon's Coast Range Type: Backcountry
Length: 1.50 miles
Loop Trail? No
Allowed Uses: Boating, non-motorized: Rafting
Camping
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Swimming
Wildlife Observation
Agency: Bureau of Land Management
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: From Eugene W on SR 126 50 mi. to Siuslaw River Access Rd. Turn S 2 mi. to Whittaker Creek Campground.
States: Oregon
Counties: Lane
Latitude: 43.98648   Longitude: -123.66215

Whittaker Creek, located about 30 miles from Eugene, Oregon, off highway 126.

Description

Built in 1991 by Eugene BLM employees and volunteers, this unique footpath arises from the streamside in the moisture rich hills called the Coast Range by local Willamette Valley residents. This is specifically a hiking trail, connected to a popular BLM campground, also called Whittaker Creek, and the trailhead can be accessed on the backside of the park at campsite 24. Vehicle parking is available int he campground parking lot, free of charge.
The trail climbs at a moderate rate, winding uphill through three signifigant ecosystems; riparian, second growth Douglas fir, and the pristine Old Growth Ridge. Each system has it's own special plant and animal species that thrive there.
The riparian or stream zone, is considered one of the premier salmon and steelhead streams in all of the Coast Range. The huge Chinook use it in November, followed by the smaller, more energetic Coho, or Silver salmon, in December, and finally the powerful Steelhead, from January thru early March. This year-round, cool water stream is is also home to many foure-legged critters that frequent its waters. It is also the nucleus of a semi-primitive campground that has become extremly popular to the greater Eugene-Springfield clientele. The site has 31 campspaces with no electic hook-ups, a fine swimming area, and access to the Siuslaw River, whcih in only a short distance away. Some of the campsites are physically connected to the river itself.
The second growth zone is home to 60-year-old Douglas Fir stands, mixed with other tree species that make up a diverse eco-system that is rapidly reaching maturity. The trail ascends to a ridge where, in the 1950's logging activity ceased, and the higher reaches of the hill were left untouched. At that point, the hiker can witness old Douglas Fir trees int heir original habitat. This area is also home to the Northern spotted owl and the marbled murrlet. The BLM rangers have built comfortable benches along the way for the hikers to rest and refresh themselves.
Presently, a mile long loop is being added to the main trail and will be completed by September 2004 for the public to enjoy. The loop will highlight the scenic Whittaker Creek itself, traveling along it's bank as it returns to the park area. This new, long awaited enterprise will give the entire system a profound sense of completion. It will send new information regarding this leg when it's done.

Additional Details

Width: 30 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: Soil

Average Grade: 10%
Elevation Low Point: 300
Elevation High Point: 1,200
Year Designated: 1994

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: BLM - area details

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Dennis T. Smith
Eugene Field Office
2890 Chad Dr.
Eugene , OR 97408 -7336
(541) 683-6296
dennistsmith/eufo/or/blm/do1@blm.gov

Doug Huntington
2890 Chad Dr.
Eugene , OR 97408 -7336
(541) 683-6415
dounghuntington/eufo/or/blm/do1@blm.gov

 

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