McDonald Forest

March 11, 2000

What a great day for hiking! It could have been a rainy day as before. I have wanted to lead this hike for several years. The hike is a combination of several different parts — Discovery, Loop 36, Powderhouse, Intensive, Callowy Trails — and it all begins at the Peavey Arboretum, where the Firefighters Memorial Shelter is located. The memorial, along with nine Willamette Ponderosa Pines, commemorates the nine young Oregon firefighters who lost their lives in the South Canyon Fire in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, in July, 1994. The McDonald Forest belongs to the Oregon State University and is a living laboratory for the forestry program. There are interpretive signs on Discovery, Interpretive and Woodland Trails, which help to understand what is going on. Seven thousand acres with 400 acres of old growth trees help to make up this forest, along with 200 different varieties of trees and shrubs native to the Northwest and elsewhere, a lake and 700 different school projects. Being an experimental forest, the trees come in different stages of growth, shape, size and planting variations, truly an education in silviculture. It was still early when we finished the hike so, wanting to see more, we traveled a further 20 miles to see Basket Slough Wildlife Refuge. We saw lots of ducks and geese and, we believe, a golden eagle. The McDonald Forest has many more trails, so I will try to do another trip there in the Fall, when the leaves have changed color. This was a great trip and a great group of hikers, including Yuan Hopkins, Barbara Shomaker, Michelle Tambellini and Rebecca Hansen (leader).


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