Sugar Creek Falls

June 18, 1978

There were only five signed up Friday night, but by the time Clarence and Dorothy Scherer picked up those who showed at 19th & Patterson and met those who had called at Burwell’s above Leaburg, we were 16 strong. Arrived at the mature forest near Castle Rock about 10:30 a.m. and looked for evidence of origin (charcoal in soil, burned limbs on old down snags and moss-covered charred bark on some 500-year old trees which the 200-year ago fire scorched but did not kill). Studied events in forest life, (over-crowding death of suppressed trees, snow break storm, disappearance of brush species, intrusion of hemlock, etc).

Moved onto clearcut eight years old to study number of species and how they became established—1. Wind, 2. mammals & birds, 3. resprouting from roots, 4. heat germinated seeds (Ceanothus only). Best stage for wildlife and some forms of recreation.

On to a 25-year old naturally seeded clearcut—very dense & in need of thinning. No time for the really old (500-year old) forest and shelterwood cutting after lunch. So off in our three cars again to Finn Rock, up Quartz Creek five miles to Wycoff Creek Junction. Parked 100 yards above junction by demolished old shop, and climbed up a real Burwell trail, up, around, across and in Sugar Creek for about ½ mile—many thought it should rate “Qualifying.” A high misty fog hung on the trees far above the canyon walls.

Over 100 foot beautiful waterfall, less than ½ mile from road, accessible all year long which is visited less than once a decade! The coolest place imaginable on those scorcher days, and one of the most beautiful after a light snow at low elevation (1500'). Let’s use it more often when other trips are cancelled. Those enjoying it this time were Katie & Gene Barnes, Linda Briesate, Byron, Rosalind, Debbie & Tera Case, Bonnie Ledford, Helen Miller, Dr. Wesley Mury, Art & Isabel Porter, Dorothy & Clarence Scherer, Lin Trombley and leader Dave Burwell.

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