Elijah Bristow State Park

May 3, 2009

This evening walk under threatening skies was a winner: very close to town, varied terrain, dry until the last 15 minutes, and the trail hugs the beautiful Middle Fork of the Willamette River. The flowers are plentiful near the waterways, but scarce in the meadows. We had to content ourselves with a huge field of blue camas on the side of the highway near Pleasant Hill. After starting on the Elk Trail, we did about three miles of the River Trail then stood at a trail junction trying to decide if we would go on towards Dexter Dam, or return. The clouds burst overhead and we returned to the cars. The rain slowed to the usual Willamette Valley soft drizzle and all wanted more hiking; so we took the Turtle Trail and found it was the loveliest little trail in Bristow. It follows a backwater area and we found a big pond of yellow lilypads that was stunning in the now calm evening. No frogs or turtles. They, with the birds, were waiting for sun. We were out of the park by 7:15 p.m., a quarter of an hour ahead of the 7:30 p.m. closing. This is a nice place for a spur-of-the-moment stroll, and one of the State Park system’s no-fee parks. In wet weather, expect some mud wallows — this park accommodates hikers, bikes and horses. The water was high due to recent rains and portions were under water and had to be hopped. My thanks go to Joanne Ledet for driving and to Pat Esch for helping me pick up trash, scarce though it was.

Hikers were Pat Esch, Joanne Ledet, Lou Maenz, Moshe Rapaport, Ruth Romoser and Barb Revere, leader.


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