Lower Lawler & South Willamette Trails

April 19, 2010

We sent up a shuttle, leaving a vehicle at the Hardesty trailhead on Hwy 58, then driving to the southeast end of the Lower Lawler Trail, along Rd. 531 off the Patterson Mountain Road. Lower Lawler Trail doesn’t appear on Forest Service maps or lists of trails. After a couple miles through varied forest and across a few streams, it connects, with a jog on the Eula Ridge Trail, to the South Willamette Trail for five miles to the Hardesty Trail, and a last half mile to the parking lot. We walked under cloudy skies and a few sun bursts, with a freshness from the emerging vegetation, flourishing mosses, energetic streams, and early flowers. When scouting the trail ten days earlier, I’d found one bridge tilted and unusable, but water had subsided and Ernst’s tall boots weren’t needed. The trip leader lost credibility because of underestimating elevation gain. The trail repeatedly climbs from one creek to another then descends to another, for a hill climbing total of probably 1200 feet. A Springing Out in the nearby foothills for Charlie Van Deusen, Sue Meyers, Bob Foster, Ernst Schwintzer, and leader Rob Castleberry.

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