Old Growth Groves - Lillian Falls & Joe Goddard Preserve

September 29, 1991

To get to Lillian Falls (and Joe Goddard Grove, too), drive to the stoplight in Oakridge, turn north, cross the railroad tracks to the stop sign, then go right on what first becomes Salmon Creek Road; when the pavement ends it becomes (gravel) F.S. Rd. 2421 and in about 12 miles ends at the trailhead. The trail starts in a second growth area. The Wilderness boundary is close at hand, however, and the trail becomes a beauty. On its way up to Lillian Falls it winds past towering Douglas fir, western red cedar and mountain hemlock, the canopy sheltering a large number of shade-tolerant Pacific yew. The falls provided a cooling as well as scenic atmosphere (it was a pleasantly hot Sunday) so we continued to climb higher to find a sunny and airy overlook for our lunch stop. As it was the beginning of hunting season, we anticipated seeing hunters, and were entertained at lunch by one who regaled us with hunting and fishing lore. We were ready to discuss old growth issues in return, but the hunter’s teenage son tugged him away in search of the elusive deer before we could enumerate the benefits of the many old “down” trees scattered throughout the groves (it’s nice to think how useful these might be as hiding places!). Returning to the cars, we retraced Rd. 2421 a short distance and stopped to visit Joe Goddard’s Preserve, a ½-mile loop through some of the biggest and oldest trees in the area. Interpretive signs discuss ages and pertinent facts, but just gawking at these giants is enough to make the trip worthwhile. We are most grateful to Joe Goddard, the Forest Service employee who was the impetus for saving this treasure, and to the District Ranger who cooperated to make it a reality. Old-growth hikers were John Cole, Sarah Hull, Corinne Hunt, Joyce Mitchell, Karen Seidel, Clare Tucker and co-leaders Sharon Ritchie and Dallas Cole.


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