Enchanted Valley

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. Joining Chris Cunningham were Barb Schomaker, Nola Shurtleff, Wendy Clarke, Barb Sutherland and Pete Peterson.

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