Indigo Springs—Chuckle Springs
September 18, 2005
A lovely late summer’s day was the setting for the annual
“history and hiking” tour of the Middle Fork of the
At Hills Creek Reservoir we turned onto FS Road 21, which closely
follows the route of the old Oregon Central Military Wagon Road
above the reservoir.
The OCMWR was constructed in the 1860s and was the primary road
over the mountains from the upper Willamette Valley into the early
On the way to the trailhead, we stopped at Rigdon Meadows, an
historic site on the road where Stephen and Zilphia Rigdon
maintained a way station from 1871 to 1896, keeping accurate
records of travelers and livestock passing along the road.
After shuttling a car, we began the hike where the Middle Fork
Trail crosses Road 2143, heading upstream for three miles towards
Parts of the trail go through old growth forest (including
Ponderosa pines) and areas where rocks and tree trunks are carpeted
with thick, green moss.
We stopped for lunch at Indigo Springs, a beautiful spot, where a
small portion of the original OCMWR can still be seen.
After lunch we continued up the Middle Fork Trail towards Chuckle
This part of the trail crosses numerous springs and streams that
flow directly into the river, and negotiating some of them on rocks
and logs added to the interest and challenge of the hike.
One crossing, known hereafter as “Marshall’s Landing”
proved particularly exciting.
After pausing at Chuckle Springs we returned on a small loop down to
the main trail and back to Indigo Springs for departure to Eugene.
The hikers included members
Charlie Van Deusen,
Sharon and Jim Duncan.