October 18, 2003
Six of us explored Enchanted Valley along a five-mile
trail that winds through abandoned farmland northeast of
Mercer Lake, just north of Florence.
The old farmhouse that once stood at the entrance of the
property is no longer visible, but we could easily imagine
why the owners chose this bucolic area to reside, and to
cultivate and develop as a dairy farm.
Some hikers described the property as “similar to
the British countryside” and as “a Shangri-La.”
Groves of slender, old alders provide an airy contrast to
gigantic Sitka spruce.
Bailey Creek runs through the site and provides sweet
water-music to the ear.
Lane County Parks still maintains (and mows) three large
meadows adjacent to the trail, which was once the homestead
road, and is now overgrown and lush with scarlet maples,
ferns and moss-covered logs felled years ago.