The group that hiked from the east trailhead through to the west trailhead of the North Bank Habitat (formerly the North Bank Deer Preserve) was unanimous in its appreciation of the beauty of the area. “The preserve is a gem,” commented Ernst Schwintzer. Those who hadn’t previously visited this area just north of Roseburg were surprised at the openness of the hilly terrain, the magnificent and enormous old Madrone trees, the display of lush Oregon oaks and myriad wild flowers blooming throughout, along with bounteous poison oak patches. The hikers enjoyed expansive views of the North Umpqua River and many (unnamed) peaks. The weather cooperated with a high cloud cover, a cool breeze and a moderate temperature. The leader had advertised this trip as a one-way hike with parts of the route unexplored. Leaving one car at the west trailhead, the hikers set off from the eastern Comstock trailhead 7 miles further up the North Bank Road. They then headed up the very steep Power Line trail to the junction with the Soggy Bottom trail; down that road and past the parking lot to head back up the West Barn trail, up a very steep portion of the Middle Ridge trail and to a welcome lunch spot on Middle Knob. The group opted for more strenuous exercise and climbed up to the undulating ridge that borders the preserve before finally dropping back down Bear Tree trail to Chasm Creek and to the west trailhead. We calculated we hiked about 12.5 miles with approximately 2500’ gain.Members: Chris Stockdale, Mari Baldwin, Kate Parrish, Diantha Hull, Becky Lipton, Don Cross, Ernst Schwintzer. Nonmembers: Jim Woodard.
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