North Bank Deer Preserve

April 10, 2005

With one of the bridges still closed on the North Fork of the Smith River, I changed the destination to the North Bank Habitat Management Area, a ten square mile preserve overlooking the North Umpqua River near Wilbur, Oregon. It is listed in Sullivan’s 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon and also recommended in wildflower guides.

Although we did not see the rare Colombia white-tailed deer (again), we saw an abundant variety of wildflowers such as buttercup, spring gold, popcorn, fiddleneck, pearly everlasting, shooting star, fawn lily, baby blue eyes, Oregon grape, unidentified flowers, and a tremendous crop of poison oak. The loop trail wanders up and follows the ridgelines over rolling hills, through open oak savannas, Pacific madronne in full bloom, and green meadows with fields of flowers, as we hiked along the ridgeline where we had 360 degree panoramic views including the North Fork of the Umpqua River drainage and the lower mountain ranges. The loop trail, open all year, is especially enjoyable in the spring when the area is so green and filled with wildflowers.

While we had pleasant partially sunny skies the whole day, the recent rains had made several short sections of the trail quite muddy. Although this did not detract at all from a great hike to a new area for all participants on the trip except John and Janet. Hikers were: Elizabeth Chandler, Walt Dolliver, Kitson Graham, Janet Jacobsen, John Jacobsen (leader), Daphne James and Barbara Revere.

Looking over the North Bank Deer Preserve SW toward the North Umpqua River

Barbara and Janet ascending the highest point along the trail.

From back: Walt, Janet, Kitson, Elizabeth and Barbara relaxing after lunch.

Primo flower show.

Manzanita and dogwood in bloom.

Elizabeth, Barbara, Janet, Kitson, Walt and manzanita giants.

Anyone know what these pink flowers are?

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