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Trails

Mount Pisgah Arboretum:

Alphabetical List of Trail Abbreviations

By Theodore W. Palmer, June 30, 2006

BBT                               32        Burtner Bench Trail

BeiT                               12        Beistel  Trail

BSLR                             11        Bonneville South Level Road*

BuT                                21        Bufords’ Trail

CMT                               29        Cross Meadow Trail*

CT                                  28        Connector Trail (Beistel)

EBT                                40        East Boundary Trail

ECT                                37        East Connector Trail*

EUBT                             42        East Upper Bowl Trail*

FLT                                34        Fawn Lily Trail

GMR                              2          Great Meadow Road

GMT                              25        Great Meadow Trail

HBER                            16        Howard’s Bridge Entrance Road*

HT                                  23        Hillside Trail

ICT                                 24        Incense Cedar Trail

JT                                   14        Jette Trail

LCST                             39        Level Cross Slope Trail*

LER                               1          Lower Entrance Road

MQR                              8          Middle Quarry Road*

NBT                               38        North Boundary Trail*

NECT                             19        North Entrance Creek Trail*

NEEBT                          48        North Extension of East Boundary Trail*

OHDR                           7          Old Heavt Duty Road*

ONSR                            5          Old North Service Road

PBWGCCT                    22a      Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden Creek Canyon Trail*

PBWGET                       22c      Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden East Trail*

PBWGMT                      [22]      Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden Main Trail  (Part of TMcRT)

PBWGNWT                  22b      Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden North West Trail*CX

PBWGSWT                   22d      Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden South West Trails*

PLT                                27        Pond Lily Trail

PT                                   13        Plateau Trail

QR                                 3          Quarry Road

SBSR                             10        Southern Bonneville Service Road

SCR                               36        South Connector Road

SCT                                45        South Connector Trail*

SEBT                             44        South East Boundary Trail*

SECT                             18        South Entrance Creek Trail*

SET                                46        South East Trail

SMR                               4          South Meadow Road

T35                                 35        Trail #35

TMcRT                           22        Tom McCall Riverbank Trail

TRR                               17        Tree Round Road*

TSCR                             30        Temporary Steep Cut-off Road

TT                                   33        Theodore Trail

UBR                               26        Upper Bowl Road

UBT                               41        Upper Bowl Trail

UER                               6          Upper Entrance Road

UPT                                31        Upper Plateau Trail

UQR                              9          Upper Quarry Road*

WFT                               47        Water Fall Trail*

WGBPT                         20b      Water Garden Burn Pile Trail*

WGMT                           20        Water Garden Main Trail

WGNT                           20a      Water Garden North Trail*

WGSL                            20d      Water Garden South Loops*

WGVPT                         20c      Water Garden Viewing Platform Trail*

WUBT                           43        West Upper Bowl Trail*

ZZT                                15        Zig-Zag Trail

*   New name supplied.

MOUNT PISGAH ARBORETUM

Description of Trails

by Theodore W. Palmer, March 7, 2003; June 30, 2006

Listed in the order they were essentially completed (which is not always an easily defined date).  Whichever end is closer (by trail) to the Coast Fork Bridge is considered the beginning of the trail and the end farther away is considered the termination.   A 1936 aerial photograph provides the first reliable evidence on the Arboretum site.  Connected, historical remarks are at the end

Four tables give summary data:  A)  Trail Table with name, abbreviation, date, designer, width, length, surface and intermediate point distances:  B)  Trail Beginnings and Ends:  C)  Alphabetical List of Trail Abbreviations:  D)  Trail Abbreviations listed in the following orders: alphabetical; date; distance from Coast Fork Bridge; length, and height of highest point.   Finally there are two pages of remarks on all this data.  The reader may wish to study the map and these tables before beginning to read the following detailed description

1   Lower Entrance Road.  (LER): This gravel surfaced, nearly level road is about 20 feet wide and 2,270 feet (0.43 miles) long from where it meets the Upper Entrance Road close to the Coast Fork Bridge to the gate just south of the big culvert near the Caretaker House.  Except during festivals it is now closed off between a north gate a few feet from its start and a south gate 1,595 (0.30 miles) feet from its beginning, which is near the north end of the wide section making up the lowest portion of the parking area.  This wide section was built in 1978 by Lane County Public Works acting as a contractor for Mount Pisgah Arboretum long before the rest of the parking lots were constructed.

The road was built before1936 when it appears to have been in excellent condition and was the only road from the Coast Fork Bridge to the farmhouse and barn until about 1964.  In 1973 it was in very poor condition.  Irrigation pipe had been buried across the road as culverts to carry run-off, but most had collapsed and/or been plugged up.  MPA and/or the County put down some gravel and graded the road infrequently.  In July 2005 the County made substantial improvements including improved ditches and some new culverts when they paved the Upper Entrance Road.  It will support heavy trucks at any time of year.

It has partial shade particularly in the afternoon along most of its length. Many people walk their dogs along this closed stretch of road.

2  Great Meadow Road GMR):  This 15 foot wide, nearly level, gravel road begins at the gate just south of the culvert for the Arboretum Entrance Creek and extends 1,415 feet (0.27 miles) to the Junction just north of Adkison Bench.  Most of its length is in full sun, but some Oregon white oaks provide occasional shade.

It was built before 1936 and was still in excellent condition in 1973.  However it had no ditches and the only culvert was one on the Arboretum Entrance Creek near the Caretaker House which was ften inadequate during heavy rains.  In July 1978, Bill Coslow installed a four foot diameter concrete culvert under this road just short of its south end.  In the early 1980s(?) Bonneville Power Administration gave MPA a huge aluminum culvert and installed it to replace the much smaller one on the Arboretum Entrance Creek.  About the same time Tom LoCascio constructed a good ditch along the uphill side and a small concrete culvert under the Fawn Lily Trail and the barn north entrance road.  We put new gravel on the Great Meadow Road about every six years and grade it most years.

The Tom McCall Riverbank Trail leaves its west side 55 feet from its beginning and returns at 1,170 feet (0.22 miles).  The PBWG East Connector Trail goes west at 210 feet, the East Connector Road east at 455.  The Great Meadow Trail crosses at 975 feet (.18 miles).  The north entrance to the Great Meadow Barn goes south from the east side at 1,020 feet (0.19 miles).  The road provides beautiful views across the Great Meadow to the mixed conifer forest on the hillside with a few Oregon white oaks (Quercus garryana) in the foreground.  Although it is essentially the same length as the Tom McCall Riverbank Trail and less aesthetically pleasing, it is used by most of those who swim at the Arboretum.  It will support heavy trucks at any time of year.

3    Quarry Road (QR):  This nearly level, 12 foot wide, gravel road starts at the Vern Adkison Bench Junction and exits the south boundary of the Arboretum 2,075 feet (0.39 miles)  farther south.

The 1936 aerial photo appears to show this road exactly as it was in 1973.  (Tree cover creates some uncertainty.).  In 1973 it was a heavy duty road with several culverts, but the ditches needed to be restored which happened within ten years.  We have maintained and improved this road in small ways every few years.  The quarry junction is about 485 feet south of the Arboretum’s South Boundary.  When the Arboretum first started we were invited by Lane County Parks to use any material we wished from the quarry.  We continue to do this on a regular basis.  As a result we do some maintenance work each year on the Quarry Road well south of the Arboretum boundary and on the Quarry floor.

The south entrance to the Great Meadow Barn and the Fawn Lily Trail both go uphill to the north from the east side at 135 feet and 725 feet (0.14 miles), respectively.  The Pond Lily Trail crosses uphill from the west at 845 feet (0.16 miles) and then transforms into the Jette Trail which continues uphill to the south east from the east side.  At 1,390 (0.26 miles) feet the Southern Bonneville Service Road heads steeply uphill to the south east from the east side of the Quarry Road.  The road is mostly tree covered so it provides a particularly attractive walk on hot sunny days.  It is also almost perfectly level and has many spring flowers on both sides. It will support heavy trucks at any time of year, but the south end is quite wet for much of the year.

4   South Meadow Road (SMR): This roughly 12 foot wide, nearly level, gravel road is 2,130 feet (0.40 miles) long between the Vern Adkison Bench Junction and the south west corner of the Arboretum.  Through the South Meadow, the Arboretum’s west boundary is the east side of this straight road.  At the gate the Arboretum boundary continues in a straight line to the bank of the Coast Fork.

The course of the Coast Fork was very different in 1936 with a peninsula of several acres attached to the east (Arboretum) side between the approximate position of the Great Meadow Barn and the present gate into the South Meadow.  In the 1936 and 1944 aerial photos there are only meandering very primitive tracks in the South Meadow, but the 1952 photo shows two carefully surveyed, well-built straight roads making an approximate right angle where the South Meadow Quonset now stands.  The roughly north-south road is the present South Meadow Road and the other goes to the present location of the quarry on the east and to the big west bend of the Coast Fork on the west.  I would guess this road is less than two years old in this photo.  (In this photo the quarry area is disturbed, but if quarrying had already started it was just beginning.)   The road was in much worse shape in 1973 than in 1952 and still has not been much improved except for its first 600 feet which the Arboretum regularly maintains.  It will support heavy trucks at any time of year, but beyond the gate into the South Meadow it is still in poor shape.

The Pond Lily Trail, Water Garden Main Trail, Water Garden North Trail and Water Garden Burn Pile Trail all leave the east (left) side at 20, 120, 285, and 595 feet, respectively.  The gate into the South Meadow is at 1,185 feet (0.22 miles).   A much loved deep swimming hole, with a very shallow outlet is on the west side 165 feet from the beginning of this road.  The road is fairly heavily used both by swimmers and by those wishing to hike in the wide open spaces of the South Meadow but its attractiveness is marred by our burn pile (burned several times a year when fire danger is low), and various stockpiles of logs, surfacing, mulch and building materials.  Also the two southern Bonneville Power Administration high voltage lines are quite prominent.  There is very little shade along this road except near its beginning.

5    Old North Service Road (ONSR): This nearly level, approximately 10 foot wide, grass-surfaced road now begins at the Beistel Trail just above the gate and only 35 beyond that trail’s beginning.  It ends 1,330 feet (0.25 miles) east where the north slope of the Arboretum Entrance Creek begins to become steeper.  After passing the picnic area it follows the north bank of the Arboretum Entrance Creek as closely as an informal but reasonably heavy duty road could.

There is an indistinct trace of this road in the 1960 aerial photo and it is clear by 1968, so I have guessed that it was an established road by about 1965.  The log landing is also indistinct in 1960 and plain in 1968, so it seems very likely that the Old North Service Road crossed the Arboretum Entrance Creek and extended up hill to the log landing for removing logs.  I have never seen any signs of even a primitive bridge, but, at least in the summer, a truck could easily drive across the creek at the east end of this road.  In 1973 this road was somewhat overgrown and we gradually removed all the brush and I started mowing it annually about 1985.  We have made no other improvements and the portion uphill from the picnic area is very wet through about May every year.  This road will support a truck at any time of the year and heavy trucks in the summer.

 

There is a connection to the MPA Office at 200 feet, a connection to the North Entrance Creek Trail at the bridge above the picnic area at 620 feet and another to the same trail at the Birthday Bridge, 720 feet (0.14 miles) from the beginning of the Old North Service Road.  Finally it crosses the Connector Trail at 1,090 feet (0.20 miles).  The end of this road is the beginning of the Upper Bowl Trail.  When the stream is running it is very attractive although the South Entrance Creek Trail provides even nicer views,  It is mainly used by hikers in the summer because it is shaded by trees between about 400 and 900 feet, and it is also wet in the winter.  It provides a vital link for our equipment on the north side of the Arboretum Entrance Creek.  It also provides vehicular access to the Beistel Trail at its beginning on the north end without opening the gate at the bottom of that trail.

 

6     Upper Entrance Road (UER): This paved 36 foot wide road begins at the east end of the Coast Fork Bridge and ends 2,505 feet (0.47 miles) later at the gate just south of the culvert over the Arboretum Entrance Creek, after going around the east side of the Turn-around.  Most of the road is level.  At both ends it rises (or falls) about 25 feet with the north end gradual and the south end quite steep (7%).  It is a legal County Road and is the main entrance to the Arboretum, useable by heavy trucks year round.

It was constructed about 1964 but the earliest proof of its existence is the 1968 aerial photograph in which it appears complete and fairly new.  It was in good shape in 1973.  In 1978 the Arboretum hired Lane County Public Works as a contractor with a $5,000 Bureau of Outdoor Recreation grant to alter the course of the road down the slope near the south end and to build the turn-around.  These improvements had been designed, accurately drawn and staked by George Jette (professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon).  The County made provisions for the two south entrances to the future parking lots (which had also, already been designed by George Jette), and they constructed a somewhat rough version of the very lowest parking area along the Lower Entrance Road.  We paid the County $1,834.47 to pave the turn-around  in July, 1980 after we had installed several culverts and water pipes.  The Arboretum and/or County periodically put down some new gravel and graded the Upper Entrance Road, however after 1980 there were no substantial improvements until it was greatly improved with new ditches, some new culverts and paving by Lane County Public Works in July 2005.  Unfortunately, at that time they also took down or trimmed many more trees along the road than we would have preferred.

At present the north boundary of the Arboretum crosses this road at 620 feet where it is marked by red flagging on the end of a fence and a line of red flagged stakes angling up the hillside to the east,  The boundary goes a bit further north along the west side of the road and then straight across to the Lower Entrance Road which it follow north to the south side of the east end of the Coast Fork Bridge,  (The small area between the two entrance roads at the north end was removed from the 1996 lease area at the last minute because it was believed then that the yet-to-be designed new bridge would lead across this area to the upper road.  However, this small piece of land was determined to be a jurisdictional wetland and the County was prevented from building a road across it.  The tract certainly ought to be added back to the Arboretum lease and we could use it for teaching purposes.)   At present the Lane County Fee Station is at 1,060 feet (0.20 miles) on the west side and Beistel Trail heads steeply uphill from the east side at 2,060 feet (0.39 miles).  The East Connector Road leaves the south east side at 2,190 feet (0.41 miles) just where the Upper Entrance Road turns sharply down hill.  The road has little shade.  We need to beautify the road which is inadequately attractive for the entrance area of park area.  When an Arboretum Headquarters is finally built the last 500 feet will need to be realigned.

 

7   East Connector Road (ECR):  This is the 12 foot wide gravel road past the Mount Pisgah Arboretum Office, continuing (after a missing bridge) as a bark and grass road through the avenue of oaks east of the Pavilion and then angling south west across the Great Meadow to meet the Great Meadow Road 455 feet from that road’s beginning.  (After about 1977 we used this last section only in the summer.)  Its beginning is at the curve where the Upper Entrance Road turns down hill 2,190 feet (0.41 miles) from that road’s beginning at the east end of the Coast Fork Bridge.  When a bridge over the Arboretum Entrance Creek is supplied, this very heavy duty road will have a total length of 795 feet (0.15 miles).  With a suitable bridge over the Arboretum Entrance Creek, the whole road will support heavy trucks year round, but the portion on the south of the creek needs new gravel before it should be used in this way.

This road passes the Arboretum Office at 145 feet and then gradually drops about 20 feet to where it crosses the North Entrance Creek Trail at 335 feet.  The center of the missing bridge is at about 370 feet.  Across the Arboretum Entrance Creek it is level, crossing the South Entrance Creek Trail at 430 feet and the Tree Round Road at 630 feet.  Between these two trails it is the center of a beautiful avenue of Oregon white oaks (Quercus garryana).

This road was clearly built as part of the construction of the Upper Entrance Road and both have well over a foot of large rocks under their gravel surfaces.  My understanding is that the residents of what is now the Caretaker House complained about the noise and dust of trucks leaving the quarry and the quarry management built these roads about 1965 to keep the traffic much further from the farm house.

About 1980 President Dave Wagner supervised the removal by hand of the large galvanized iron culvert which carried this road across the Arboretum Entrance Creek.  After the Pavilion restrooms are built we should supply a bridge here to take traffic around the Pavilion.  (When this happens it may make sense to move Howard’s Bridge west to better line up with the north entrance to the Pavilion.)

 

8     Middle Quarry Road (MQR):  The Middle and Upper Quarry Roads both begin where they were buried and cut off by the Southern Bonneville Service road 595 and 650 feet, respectively, above its beginning.  They both end where they cross the Arboretum South Boundary, 450 and 425 feet south.  Within the Arboretum they have moderate grades (the lower, down and the upper, up) and are 12 to 15 feet wide.  The middle Quarry Road can be entered from the Quarry floor well south of the Arboretum and will support a heavy truck year round.  Both roads were entirely outside the Arboretum until 1996.

These two roads were originally one road, built about 1965, from the floor of the quarry to its headwall.  When Bonneville Power Administration built their Southern Bonneville Service Road about 1970 the quarry was no longer in use and they buried the turn which connected these two roads.  In 1996 when the MPA boundary moved south to include some of these two roads they were choked with blackberries (Rubus armeniacus),  poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) and small trees.  I opened both roads by removing many small trees and other brush to their original southern termini considerably beyond the Arboretum’s new boundary and have mowed them all the way about once a year ever since. At their north end their connection to the Southern Bonneville Service Road still needs considerable improvement.  They both show off attractive woods with somewhat different under-story flora than most of the rest of MPA.  The Middle Quarry road is 450 feet long to the Arboretum south boundary, but beyond the boundary it forks into two roads with the larger leading down past an ancient abandoned truck, which was the quarry powder magazine, to the quarry floor.  (About 1978 when I found this powder magazine, I checked carefully that there was no old dynamite left as sometimes happens when a quarry is abandoned.)  The upper branch leads to the middle level of the quarry where generations of kids have built numerous stone fortresses.  Before the quarry was abandoned, the end of this road was blocked by a bulldozed pile of rocks. I mow this upper branch much less fully.

At present there is a very pretty, temporary, but too-steep path from the Southern Bonneville Service Road to the north end of the Middle Quarry Road.  When some large cottonwood logs and more blackberries and poison oak are removed a nice gradual path can easily be constructed just west of this temporary connection.  It should be easy to make this useable by the gator although it crosses a rather disorganized run off which flows along the south side of the Southern Bonneville Service Road.

 

9   Upper Quarry Road (UQR): This 12 to 15 foot wide road is 425 feet long from 650 feet up the Southern Bonneville Service Road to the Arboretum’s south boundary.  Within the Arboretum it is nearly level with a slight uphill slope.

See the previous entry for history and background.  Most years, I mow this road all the way to the headwall of the quarry.  (At the Arboretum boundary I have placed a sign warning people of the danger of this 30 foot tall sheer drop.)  At present there are two ways to access this interesting road.  Opposite the south end of the Bonneville South Level Road, I have staked a fairly easy temporary route.  There is also a steep bank which one can climb down from the Southern Bonneville Service Road right where it buried the Upper Quarry Road.  A culvert and fill will make this an easy access path for trucks as well as people.  Eventually, a path from the south end of this road to the north end of the Middle Quarry Road could make this into an interesting through hike.  At present neither of these roads has any intermediate points.  They are both fully shaded.

10   Southern Bonneville Service Road (SBSR):  This 15 foot wide, very steep, heavy duty, gravel road leads up hill from the Quarry Road 1,390 feet (0.26 miles) from the beginning of that road (and 545 feet further south than the Jette Trail).  After 1,335 feet (0.25 miles) of length and about 185 feet of elevation gain it arboretum portion terminates at the south east corner of the Arboretum.  Like the Beistel Trail the grade on this road is steeper than 15% in places, yet it is fairly well used by hikers, but most do follow it downhill.  This road was entirely outside the Arboretum until 1996.

The Bonneville Power Administration built and maintains two power lines which cross the Arboretum obliquely about 200 (at the upper, east side) to 1,400 feet (0.27 miles) (at the lower, west side) from the Arboretum’s southern boundary.  The southern of these two lines was constructed about 1960 and carries 387 Kilovolt lines on very tall wooden poles tied together at the top by a large wooden beam.  There is an indistinct trace of this road in the 1960 aerial photo which appears to show construction of this line in progress.  This line enters HBRA from the southeast.  By 1968 the northern of these two lines (which enters HBRA from the north east) was completed.  This 500 Kilovolt line is carried on tall steel towers two of which are in the Arboretum.  The road is even less distinct in the 1968 aerial photo, but it is well established and maintained by 1971.  About the year 2000 erosion had so damaged the road that it was a challenge for even our four wheel drive vehicles. At Tom LoCascio’s request the Bonneville Power Administration substantially upgraded the road.  It can support heavy trucks for its full length, and is vital to our maintenance of the Jette Trail and others nearby.

At 595 and 650 feet, respectively, above its start the Middle and Upper Quarry Roads leave its south (right) side and at 770 feet (0.16 miles) the Bonneville South Level Road  diverges to the west.  The south east corner of the Arboretum is on a picturesque little plateau at the edge of one of the level lava flows making up Mount Pisgah.  When I picked this corner, the plateau was absolutely covered by poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum), nearly all of which is now gone.  The view from this point is expansive and delightful, unless one lets the Bonneville power pylons and cables spoil it.

 

11    Bonneville South Level Road (BSLR):  This 15 foot wide, grass surfaced, nearly level road begins at its slightly lower west end just below the steel Bonneville power pylon at about the 600 foot elevation.  It extends 480 feet to its east end where it connects to the Southern Bonneville Service Road 770 feet (0.15 miles) above that road’s beginning.  (Although this road has a slight but distinct distinct slope up from its west to its east end,  I called it “level” because the nearby roads and trails are so much steeper.)  It can be used by heavy trucks at any time of year.  The road has almost no shade.

This road was built at the same time as  #10 above.  It was not in the Arboretum until our lease area was increased in September, 1996.  By then it was completely overgrown.  In the early spring of 1999, Rob O’Connor and I spent several months excavating the road from a solid thicket of blackberries (Rubus armeniacus), poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum), broom (Cytisus scoparius) and small trees.  Since then we have mowed it every year often extending the cleared area, but occasionally losing some also.  Its beginning can be reached by the unfinished  South Connector Trail from the Jette Trail, or it is more often reached by the South Connector Road about 175 from the beginning of the BSLR.  It is a pleasant walk used moderately by hikers at present.  Removal of more blackberries, poison oak and broom from both sides could make the area very attractive, with low plantings and extensive views over the South Meadow.

12    Beistel  Trail  (BeiT):  This is the main trail by which hikers reach the summit of Mount Pisgah (1,531 feet in elevation).  Despite its name, it is a 15 foot wide, steep, gravel surfaced road leaving the Upper Entrance Road 2,060 feet (0.39 miles) from the Coast Fork Bridge and rising about 175 feet in elevation and 1,515 feet (0.29 miles) in length to where it crosses the Arboretum’s east boundary.  At this point the East Upper Bowl Trail leads down to the south.  From where Beistel Trail leaves the Arboretum boundary it is about one mile in length and 820 vertical feet to the summit of Mount Pisgah.  (Thus its average slope is 15%.)  Despite this excessive slope, the Beistel Trail supports heavy trucks all the way to the summit.

Lane County and the Forest Service East Lane Fire District built this trail as a fire road in 1970 before the County actually owned the land.  It was not at all designed to be a hiking trail.  Its greatest grade of well over 15% in places is more than double what we build in the Arboretum and its surface of loose gravel, sometimes over bedrock, is somewhat hazardous.  This trail is gated at 30 feet above its beginning and just above this gate the Old North Service Road heads east.  At 95 feet Theodore’s Trail heads gently up hill to the west, providing a much more scenic and gentler, but longer, route part way up the Mountain to where it rejoins the Beistel Trail.  At 670 feet above its beginning Beistel Trail is crossed by the Level Cross Slope Trail (on the north) which becomes the Connector Trail on the south.

This is by far the mot heavily used trail in the Arboretum but now almost one third of hikers do use Theodore’s Trail.  A few hundred feet from the Arboretum’s east boundary the Beisel Trail comes out into the open from its tree cover and provides attractive distant views across the upper bowl.  The views improve beyond the Arboretum boundary.

The surface of this trail was enormously improved by a Bonneville Power Administration contractor finishing in mid October 2006.  The installed thick new gravel, compacted it and constructed many gravel water diversion features.  Two years later the surface is still in good condition.

13    Plateau Trail (PT):  This 6 foot wide, bark surfaced, nearly level trail starts at the Plateau Junction (near the Gretchen Duncan Bench) where it meets the Zig-Zag Trail, Upper Bowl Road and Upper Plateau Trail.  It extends 955 feet (0.18 miles) south to the South Plateau Junction where it meets the Bufords’ Trail, Jette Trail and the other end of the Upper Plateau Trail.   The whole trail supports trucks year round and heavy trucks in the summer.

This was the first section to be finished of the trail loop designed by George Jette in 1976.  The loop consists of the Zig-Zag Trail, the Plateau Trail and the Jette Trail, (originally called the South Boundary Trail, until our south boundary moved 1,500 feet (0.28 miles) farther south in 1996).  The trails were built in a primitive way by George’s University of Oregon landscape design class including Andy March and Allison Halderman that spring.  Because it is almost level, the Plateau Trail was the first finished, but it was for several years a tunnel through a forest of free standing poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)  trees (not the usual vines) which were about six to eight feet tall.   The north half of the trail originally passed through an area where small to medium size Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii) were shading out an attractive Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) savannah.  Howard Buford cut down many hundreds of Douglas fir trees to re-open the area.  We have continued to remove new trees every few years.

 

One of my earliest projects at the Arboretum was clearing the forest of poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)  away from this trail.  For years after that, the Plateau received little or no maintenance and filled in with a forest of broom (Cytisus scoparius), blackberries (Rubus armeniacus)  and poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum).  The June 12, 1996 aerial photo happened to catch me in the midst of mowing the whole Plateau with our small tractor, Jack.  This was the second of the three years I spent on this project, and the Plateau has been mowed in early summer every subsequent year.

There are two benches along this trail.  The first was built by Gerrry Gibbs about 1978,  525 feet from the trail’s beginning, to take advantage of a beautiful view up the Coast Fork.  Unfortunately, tree growth has completely blocked this view. (Two people with walkie-talkies, one at the bench and one able to climb trees with a chain saw could restore the view without much damage to other views.)  Bob Dickson and I replaced the original bench with a nicer one built by Tom LoCascio the day before a Wildflower Festival.  The second bench is the Crowley Bench which is 675 feet from the beginning of the Plateau Trail.  (The original bench was built by friends of this young man killed in a bicycling accident and it completely disintegrated a couple of years ago.  I built a new bench this year, using only the back of the original bench.)

The view across the Plateau is pleasing and besides common flowers (particularly spring beauty (Caradamine nutallii), Erythronium oregonum, Iris tenax, and shooting star (Dodecatheon hendersonii)  there is a significant population of Mimulus guttatus where the small bridge crosses the main (but minor) drainage from the Plateau at 525 feet.  There is a single healthy plant of wayside aster (Aster vialis) which we have preserved from deer in a cage for at least 20 years on the west (right) side at about 800 feet (0.15 miles), just before the trail heads down hill for its last few yards.  (This location was known as Ole’s Oak for many years because of the huge big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) which stood on the east side of the trail.  It has subsequently died, decayed and been taken down.  In about 1979 Ole Olson, who knew a lot about trees, was approaching this tree along the Plateau Trail while showing the Arboretum to Lane County Commissioner Jerry Rust for the first time.  From a considerable distance, in his enthusiasm, Ole said “Look at that magnificent oak.“ With younger and better eyes, Jerry replied “Isn’t that a maple?”.)

 

14    Jette Trail (formerly South Boundary Trail) (JT):   This six foot wide, bark surfaced trail begins at the South Plateau Trail Junction where it meets the Plateau Trail, the Bufords’ Trail and the south end of the Upper Plateau Trail.  It extends 1,610 feet (0.30 miles) to where it meets the Quarry Road (845 feet (0.16 miles) from that road’s beginning) and the Pond Lily Trail.  It drops about 130 feet in this distance using three switchbacks.  The trail can be used by the Arboretum gator from its beginning to the South Connector Road at 700 feet (0.13 miles). From there to the steps beside the stream below the Dubs Bench, it is inaccessible to even the gator.  In the summer, by driving across the meadow near the Love family bench, our four wheel drive trucks can reach the end of the Incense Cedar Trail at the double bridges from the Quarry Road.  This is essential for maintaining the south end of the Incense Cedar Trail.

In 1976 it was the second trail to be finished in George Jette’s original loop, built mainly by his students, with some help from the CETA crew Howard Buford led.  The trail still does not quite follow George’s original plan. Below the Dubs Bench where it makes an approximately right angle turn down hill over a series of steps, George had intended that it cross the creek on a low bridge sloping slightly down hill and follow the opposite bank of the stream down to where I much later built the double bridges at the south end of the Incense Cedar Trail.  This would have reduced the grade enough to avoid steps although George allowed steeper grades than we have since.  The hill north of the creek is fairly steep with thin soil so excavating the trail would be very dfficult.

Between 300 and 450 feet from its start this trail crosses the disorganized water run-off from high on the mountain south of the Plateau on one short bridge two culverts and one long causeway.  The only substantial madrone tree on a currently completed trail is just beyond this causeway.  At 660 feet on the east (uphill, left) side is the Monument to David Douglas (born July 25, 1799) that I designed and built to honor his 200th birthday.0  Fifty feet uphill from the monument is by far the largest (118 inch circumference at breast height) ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in the Arboretum and just up the trail is one of our largest (183 inches in circumference at breast height) and oldest Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)  wolf-trees.  (There were essentially no Douglas fir or incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) trees in the Arboretum area until after the annual native American burning was stopped about 1845.  In my 30+ years of intimate acquaintance with the site the extent of cover by these species has enormously increased, set back from time to time by major Arboretum cutting programs.)  Just across from the monument is a big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), another tree introduced to cultivation in Britain and Europe by Douglas.  We have several times tried to start sugar pines here, so far without success.  Douglas was searching for the huge cones of this tree when he passed by on the other side of the Coast Fork in October, 1826.

The South Connector Road diverges on the south (left) side at 700 feet (0.13 miles) and the South Connector Trail 65 feet beyond that. Most of the first half of the trail is under tree cover (primarily Douglas fir) but after the South Connector Trail leaves the rest is mostly in the open with pleasing views.  The Dubs bench overlooks the South Meadow from the uphill (right) side at 845 feet (0.16 miles).  After a right angle turn (mentioned above) the trail follows the south side of the runoff it crossed 700 feet  (0.13 miles) back.  The water is now organized into two adjacent parallel streams except during heavy rains when this fast run-off becomes a 50 foot wide cascade of white water.  (Definitely worth seeing if you do not mind being out in pouring rain.)  At 1,145 feet (0.22 miles) the Incense Cedar Trail diverges to the north (right) over a pair of bridges, and at the last bend in the trail (1,320 feet, 0.25 miles) the Love Family Bench faces both up and down hill.  The down hill area was cleared of shrubs and many trees in about 1995 to encourage nesting by our endangered western pond turtles (Clemmys marmorata).  The very highest portion of this trail is a good place to see stone splitter (Lithophraga parviflorum) and other saxifrages, baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii), while the middle (wooded) portion is home to thousands of spring beauty (Caradamine nutallii), and  Erythronium oreganum in the early spring and the much less common Fritillaria affinis.   The lower portions have lots of baby blue eyes, short larkspur (Delphphinium menziesii) and camas (Camassia leichtinii).  The very steep slope above the Love Family Bench is an old Bonneville haul road which explains its lack of trees.

15   Zig-Zag Trail (ZZT):  This  6 to 8 foot wide, bark surfaced, fairly steep trail begins where the Cross Meadow Trail meets the Upper Bowl Road 480 feet beyond the Tree Round Junction and climbs 1,295 feet (0.25 miles) and about 130 feet in elevation by a series of four switchbacks to the Plateau Junction just beyond the Gretchen Duncan Bench.

The first sharp bend is 195 feet from the beginning, the second at 490, with a short bridge between them.  The third bend and the (somewhat rundown) Palm bench are at 595 feet.  The fourth sharp bend and the end of the Hillside Trail are 810 feet (0.15 miles) from the beginning.  Finally the fifth bend and Gretchen Duncan Bench (with stone piers) are at 1,125 (0.21 miles) and 1,200 feet (0.23 miles), respectively.  Only the very lowest section (up to the first bend) and the very highest section (down to where the trail goes into the woods) are navigable by the Arboretum gator.  Thus the trail is resurfaced by very long wheelbarrow trips (mostly from above).  This also complicates maintenance of the Hillside Trail.

Most Arboretum visitors probably hike this as the first part of the loop George Jette planned in 1976, but it was the last portion to be finished.  A wonderful CETA worker named Gerry Gibbs completed it in 1977, designing and building the curved bridge from scrap lumber on site.   Since then both bridges have been replaced, the lower and shorter one by me in February 1996 and the curved bridge several years later by an Eagle Scout project led by (??) Mitchell.

This trail is one of our most popular with pleasant views as you ascend the relatively open slope with large, widely spaced Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and a few remnant Oregon white oaks (Quercus garryana) and big leaf maples (Acer macrophyllum).  There are lots of sword ferns (Poystichum munitum), innumerable fawn lilies (Erythronium oreganum), Trilia (Trillium albidum), (less common) mission bells (Fritillaria affinis), and (near the bottom) shooting stars (Dodecatheon hendersonii) and native red columbine (Aquilegia formosa).  Only the upper 350 feet crosses open meadow.

The Arboretum’s largest western dogwood (Cornus nutalli) is on the west side of this open stretch.  When George Jette and Howard Buford first found this tree about 1976 it was surrounded by a substantial grove of young Douglas fir which were already overtopping it.  Howard cut down over a hundred to bring the tree back out into the open.  Until recently, the roots of these extirpated firs were still visible.  For perhaps 20 years the tree has suffered from anthacnose.  It appeared to be dying for awhile, but it has shown renewed vigor since the mid-1990s although it still has the disease.

 

16   Howard’s Bridge Entrance Road (HBER):  This wide gravel road begins at the east side of the Turn-Around (just south of the gravel surfaced unloading area) and ends 275 feet from there at Howard’s Bridge Junction just south of Howard’s Bridge, 220 feet from the start of the Tree Round Connector Road and where the South Entrance Creek Trail begins. This road, including Howard’s bridge, is suitable for fairly heavy trucks at any time of year.  It has a pleasant mix of sun and shade.

 

George Jette bestowed much effort on designing this road as an elegant main entry to the Arboretum.  Its first section is six feet wide but as it gradually turns it widens to more than ten feet in an elegant sweeping turn and then gradually narrows again at the bridge.  In the first few years after it was built, we observed that only a quarter or less of our visitors entered this way.  Despite various efforts to emphasize this road, nearly everyone walked through the equipment parking area in front of the Caretaker House (which was even shabbier then than now).  Since we thought this was inappropriate, we decide to build a replica of Howard’s Bridge with a nearby kiosk where the Arboretum’s main entrance is now.  I designed and built both structures in the summer of 1984, just after returning from a sabbatical leave at Indiana University.  (Later, I designed and built the smaller kiosk that faces you when you cross this bridge at the request of Alison Voss in a single day in the spring of 1989.)

 

Recently we have used this road as the entrance to the Festivals.  If we eventually move Howard’s bridge west, so that it is more in line with the north entrance to the Pavilion, it will be easy to re-align this road, but we will lose the elegant curves designed by George.

 

17   Tree Round Road (TRR):  This eight food wide gravel road extends from the gate just south of the culvert carrying the Arboretum Entrance Creek 565 feet to the Tree Round Junction.  Howard’s bridge Junction is at 220 feet and the old East Connector Road crosses at 420 feet.  This road has already been disrupted by building the White Oak Pavilion and will have to be completely replaced when the rest rooms are built.  Presumably its function will be taken over (in its middle section) by the East Connector Road between the oaks.   This road is suitable for heavy trucks year round and it is extremely important that that feature be maintained when it is replaced.

This road was never designed but grew up from use over a period of time until Howard, George and I decided to define its course and put down gravel in about 1978.

18   South Entrance Creek Trail (SECT):  This six foot wide bark surfaced trail goes almost straight east along the south side of the Arboretum Entrance Creek starting at Howard’s Bridge Junction where Howard’s Bridge Entrance Road ends.  This junction is 220 feet along the Tree-Round Road.  It ends 950 feet (0.18 miles) later at its junction with the Upper Bowl road 815 feet (0.15 miles) from that road’s beginning at the Tree-Round Junction.  The whole trail is accessible to the Arboretum gator, except for the bridge at its upper end.

At 385 feet there is a bridge north (left) over the Arboretum Entrance Creek (bult in 1978 by the first CETA crew led by Howard Buford and replaced about 1980 by Garret Goodson) to the North Entrance Creek Trail at the top of the picnic area and from the north end of this bridge a 25 foot long path leads to the Old North Service Road.  At 510 feet the Cross Meadow Trail heads gently uphill to the south (right)  to connect with the Zig-Zag Trail at the Upper Bowl Road.  The next bridge (at 550 feet) leads the south Entrance Creek itself over the south branch of the Arboretum Entrance Creek just above where the two branches reunite.  Immediately to the north (left) is the Birthday Bridge at the end of the North Entrance Creek Trail.  (This bridge got its name because it was put together by many volunteers as the climax of my 60th birthday party in 1995.)   Finally at 875 feet (0.17 miles) the trail crosses the south branch of the creek again on its way back to the Upper Bowl Road.  Just west of this bridge, is another bridge crossing the north branch of the entrance creek and marking the beginning of the Connector Trail.  These bridges are  just below where the creek divides to create the small island.  This whole trail can be navigated by the gator, except for this last bridge.  It is mostly in the sun since trees and shrubbery are to the north.

I do not really know whether this path or the North Entrance Creek Trail were started first.  They both developed over time.  The lower portions of this path up to the second bridge above Howard’s Bridge and the North Entrance Creek Trail up to the same point were designed by the joint efforts of Howard Buford and George Jette.  In 1977 and early 1978 Howard supervised the crew in building the west ends of both trails and the lower two bridges.  (The lower bridge was replaced by Garret Goodson and the upper one by Brian Wildish, both as Eagle Scout projects.)

Above the second bridge there was an impenetrable thicket of poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)  and blackberries (Rubus armeniacus). I spent several years cutting and mowing these and discovered that the Arboretum Entrance Creek, which drains the large Upper Bowl, split in half, forming a small island, and reuniting at the second bridge.  After my years of mowing, I could quickly lay out a trail up to the top of the island and then on to the Upper Bowl Road.  This is the upper (east) half of the South Entrance Creek Trail.  Tom LoCascio and the crew built the two bridges using reusable forms I had made.

This is a delightful trail while the creek is running.  Any time of year it provides pleasant views across the Canyon Meadow just above the grove of Oregon white oaks (Quercus garryana) east of the White Oak Pavilion.  Unless one wants to go past the Tree Round exhibit, this trail and the Cross Meadow Trail make the nicest approach to the Zig-Zag Trail.

19    North Entrance Creek Trail (NECT):  This bark surfaced, six foot wide, 500 foot long, gently sloping trail begins at Howards Bridge Entrance Road 205 feet from that road’s beginning at the Turn-Around and just north of the bridge itself.  It goes 500 feet up along the north side of the Arboretum Entrance Creek through the Picnic Area to where (just beyond the Birthday Bridge) it joins the South Entrance Creek Trail 550 feet above that trail’s beginning.  It is almost all shaded.

This trail shares essentially the same history as the South Entrance Creek Trail, described above.  Howard Buford designed and supervised building both the picnic area (assisted particularly by the wonderful CETA workers and cousins, Yvonne and Leisha Lundy) and this trail up to the first bridge at the upper end of the picnic area.  Just before my 60th birthday work party,  I extended it to the Birthday Bridge.  After Rob O’Connor and I built the concrete piers, this bridge was entirely put together as the culmination of a lot of site work for my 60th birthday workparty.  Without my knowledge (and to my pleasant surprise) Alison Voss and Tom LoCascio provided the marker after the bridge was done.

This trail services the Picnic Area.  The Tattersall Bench is 275 feet along it on the south side facing across the creek towards the Tree Round.  At 380 feet a bridge crosses the creek to the south and a short path leads north to the Old North Service Road.  The whole trail is suitable for gator travel and is mostly well shaded.

20   Water Garden Main Trail (WGMT):  This bark surfaced six foot wide trail now begins at the South Meadow Road only 120 feet from the beginning of that roadIt meanders 985 feet  (0.19 miles) along the west side of the Water Garden pond, across a long causeway, a shorter causeway and then the 96 foot long Vern Adkison Bridge crosses the main body of water to its end at the Pond Lily Trail on the east side of the Water Garden (590 feet from the beginning of that trail).  Every few years all these Water Garden trails flood for a few days or up to two weeks despite the upstream dams.  The whole trail, and its various branches listed below, are all tree covered with Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia) predominating.

The Water Garden North Trail and Water Garden Burn Pile Trail leave from the west (right) side at 160 and 475 feet, respectively.  Then the dead end trail to the Viewing Platform leaves from the east (left) side at 510 feet.  After that, the trail crosses an 80 foot long causeway heading due east and follows the left branch over a short causeway to the 96 foot long Vern Adkison Bridge.

I believe this trail complex was designed by George Jette and Howard Buford working together.  I happened to be there the day these two first seriously explored the area.  We cut tunnels through the blackberries (Rubus armeniacus)  to see what was on the other side and discovered the extent of this old abandoned channel of the Coast Fork.  In 1977 they laid out the whole complex of trails except that the Water Garden North Connector Trail was the original entrance.  These trails were finished in a primitive way by 1978.  (Years later I laid out and constructed the present entrance which closely follows the west shore of the Water Garden slough.)  The first winter after the Water Garden trails on the west side had been finished we discovered that for most of every winter these trails were cut in two places by water too deep to wade across.

From the beginning we had planned to have a roughly 100 foot long, low causeway span the widest and deepest part of the slough. We actually designed this causeway.  However, in 1982 David Whitbread approached me (as President of the Arboretum) about what he could do to memorialize his friend Vern Adkison who had recently died of cancer at a comparatively young age.  I told him that we wanted three bridges in the Water Garden.  David happened to be a neighbor of Captain Holmquist, commander of the Marine Corps Engineering Reserve company in Eugene, and it turned out that Captain Holmquist was extremely anxious to have his men build a major bridge.   David also knew Bill Hallstrom, owner of Zippo-Log Company, and Nils Norman both of whom had also known and admired Vern.  Together these gentlemen solicited the two huge 96 foot long, 6 foot tall and 1 foot wide, 22,000 pound laminated beams which Weyerhaeuser had in surplus.  (More interesting information on this subject is in a Tree-Time article published in the July, 2006 issue.)  These beams virtually dictated the design of the main bridge.  These three men also contributed or solicited all the rest of the lumber, spikes and fittings for the whole project.  The Adkins Bridge was completed June 11, 1983.

(The Marine Corps Reserve built the causeways and Viewing Platform in the summer of 1983, after completing the Adkison Bridge.  I was President until I left on a Sabbatical at Indiana University in August.  I was shown the plans just before leaving and noticed that the foundations were railroad ties, despite my earlier discussion of flooding.  I was not surprised to learn that despite being told that the ties would be replaced, they were in fact used.  That winter there was a flood.  The two causeways and the viewing platform did float.  Fortunately, the Arboretum’s Water Garden on the east side of the river is a backwater while most of the flow shifts west to the lower farm land on that side.  Also, fortunately, Captain Holmquist was able to round up some marines who went out with Tom LoCascio in his canoe and tied the floating structures to trees so that they landed about where they had been when the flood waters receded.  In the spring the marines put the two causeways back exactly as they had been.  When I returned from sabbatical, I calculated the buoyancy of each structure and we were able to secure enough old railroad rails from a dealer on Seavey Loop to keep them from floating again.  However the viewing platform was never quite straitened out and the three rails (two on one side and one on the other) on the short causeway allowed it to tip over in the second (November 18) 1996 500 year flood.   I redesigned it and we secured it permanently by cabling it to the rails in concrete footings under the bridge surface.)

This whole trail has some of the Arboretum’s showiest flower displays. In April and early May the tall larkspur (Delphinium trolliifolium) turns the trail bright blue.  Before that there is a prolific display Trillium albidum and then yellow woods violet (Viola glabella) (at the west end of the long causeway) and bleeding heart/Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra formosa ssp. Formosa) which remains in bloom for a long time all along the trail.  At the east end of the trail is a wonderful display of inside-out flower (Vancouveria hexandra). (The last two species have foliage almost as decorative as the flowers.)  Cow parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) has foliage up to two feet tall developing in the spring.  Then in May, in just a few days, each plant grows to be six to ten feet tall with a giant umbel of white flowers.  There are many other flowers but I have tried to mention the showiest.  This is the only place in the Arboretum where vine maple (Acer circinatum) grows.  Some of our specimens were planted by Dave Wagner, for whom it is a favorite tree.

20a   Water Garden North Trail (WGNT):  This six foot wide, bark surfaced, level trail starts from the west (right) side of the Water Garden Main Trail  160 feet from the beginning of that trail trail and ends 65 feet farther west at 285 feet along the South Meadow Road.  Like 20c and 20e below, this trail was designed by George Jette and Howard Buford in 1977 and completed in 1978. This short trail fragment has two distinctions: (1) it was the original beginning of the Water Garden Main Trail and (20 about in the middle on the north) is a four leaf trillium which has come up for several years and which has normal three petal flowers.

20b   Water Garden Burn Pile Trail (WGBPT): This short six foot wide, bark surfaced, level trail starts from the west (right) side of the Water Garden Main Trail 475 feet from the beginning of that trail and ends at the South Meadow Road (at 595 feet from the beginning of that road) right where the Arboretum builds a huge burn pile several times a year on the bank of the Coast Fork and burns it when fire danger is low.  This trail was not designed but grew up from taking things to the burn pile.  On its north side is one of the largest stands of tall Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium) in Lane County.  When we found this large, dense stand it had as many blackberries as Oregon grapes.  Many years of very scratchy work on my part have eliminated most of the blackberries

20c   Water Garden Viewing Platform Trail (WGVPT):  This six foot wide, bark surfaced, essentially level trail starts from the east (left) side of the Water Garden Main Trail 510 feet from the beginning of that trail and ends at the Viewing Platform overlooking the center of the Water Garden.  This platform was built by the Marines as part of the Water Garden memorial to Vern Adkison.  Every few years, Tom and the crew remove lots of small trees and shrubs from the Water Garden to keep the views open.  Before upstream dams were built the huge annual spring floods tended to keep old channels like the Water Garden open, but now it is up to those taking care of the Arboretum.

20d   Water Garden South Loops (WGLSL, WGSSL):  The longer south loop is 430 feet long starting from the Water Garden Main Trail just beyond the Long Causeway (at 690 feet from the beginning of that trail) and returning to the same trail just before the Adkison Bridge at 880 feet (0.17 miles).  The Short South Loop starts and ends from the Long South Loop at 75 feet and 115 feet.  Both trails are six feet wide, bark surfaced and nearly level.  They give alternative ways to enjoy the area and are quieter, appreciated by bird watchers.

We also mow and keep open the road from the vicinity of the burn pile to the south east side of the Adkison Bridge.  This road was made by one pass of the Marine Corps Reserve bulldozer trying not to dig in much in June 1983.  Originally most of this road was through an impenetrable thicket of blackberries (Rubus armeniacus)   occupying the whole of the South Meadow under the Bonneville Power Line.  One year the Lane County jail Crew cut a substantial part of these blackberries and since then, Tom and Rob O’Connor have mowed the whole area gradually extending the blackberry free territory.  We have not surfaced this road but do keep it mowed, shorter than the rest of the field.  Most of this informal road has no tree cover until it crosses the longer South Loop of the Water Garden Trail complex.  It has never been shown on any of our maps and exists strictly to facilitate maintenance.

 

21   Bufords’ Trail (BuT):  This trail (really an eight foot wide road) begins from the Tree Round Junction and extends on a steady grade up hill 1,720 feet (0.33 miles) in length and about 140 feet in elevation gain (for an average grade of about 8%) to the South Plateau Junction where it meets the beginning of the Jette Trail and the ends of the Plateau and Upper Plateau Trails.  At 530 feet Tom LoCascio built the huge stone Friday bench over looking the Great Meadow from the east, up hill, side of the trail.  At 610 feet, just where the Bufords’ Trail heads into the woods, the Incense Cedar Trail heads gradually down hill to the south.  (Just before this junction is a wonderful interpretive sign about the oak savannah and meadow habitats.)  The Hillside Trail heads uphill to the north from 1,075 feet (0.20 miles).  The first 600 feet skirt the west side of the Douglas fir covered hillside overlooking the Great Meadow and the rest of the trail is under the tall canopy of these (and other) trees except for short stretch at the end.

 

After Howard Buford retired he became a volunteer at Mount Pisgah Arboretum and quickly realized the need of having a way to drive his big pickup truck up to the Plateau which we all saw as a prime area for development.  He designed and staked this trail and decided that it should be eight feet wide.  Since the Arboretum had hardly any tools , not even a wheel barrow at first,  this was quite an ambitious goal and the trail quickly got the name “The Eight Foot Trail”.  When I took over from Howard in June, 1978 the trail could easily be followed all the way, but it was far less than eight feet wide and the main runoff from the Plateau cut a steep canyon across at about 1,200 feet (0.23 miles) from the beginning.  I could only work with the CETA crew Thursday mornings and Saturdays.  For the first year of my supervision the main goal was to complete this road to be eight feet wide.  With our primitive tools and the lack of adequate supervision the work went slowly.  Eventually, the trail was eight feet wide almost everywhere, but the stream crossing was still a problem.  On a September Saturday in 1978 the first really big Arboretum work party filled in the canyon, and put two parallel 18 inch concrete culverts across with their lower lip supported on a pressure treated 4 x 4.  This huge job was finished in a single day.  Just above this point there was another obstacle.  An old, rotten but huge big leaf maple (Acer macrophyllum) root embedded in miles of poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum)  roots on the uphill side of the road just above the new culverts restricted the width to about 5 feet.  I worked on this stump, usually alone, for several months of Sundays until, with great satisfaction, I finally rolled it over the lower edge of the trail.  The ground was saturated with poison oak poison, so it was a very itchy job for me!  One final obstacle remained.  A very large Douglas fir which was completely hollow from a long-ago lightening strike.  It was an obvious hazard, so on October 20, 1979 a logger named David Wagner (a different person from the Arboretum President with the same name), my student Paul L. Patterson, III and I cut down this tree.  Indeed after preparations it fell within a minute of the chain saw touching it.  All this is written up in some detail on page 4 of the February, 1980 Tree-Time.

The trail was named for Howard AND his wife Ardys Buford (hence the placement of the apostrophe) in a lovely ceremony on May 1 of 1983.  Unfortunately, Howard’s Alzheimer’s disease was so advanced by then that he only vaguely understood what we were doing.

Bufords’ Trail is one of the most heavily used trails in the Arboretum.  Erythronium oregonum and Fritallaria affinis are probably the most common and showy flowers but there are many other things to see.

Towards the top, the hillside is extremely steep down hill to the south west.  A level walkway from Bufords’ Trail would very quickly reach the top of the canopy of Douglas firs and incense cedars growing 75 feet below.  Its end could be almost directly above the Incense Cedar Trail at the bottom of the slope.  This feature has been one of my long time dreams.  Several European Arboreta have suspended cable walkways into the tree canopy, but one always has to climb up to reach canopy level.  At Mount Pisgah Arboretum the walkway could be level!

 

22   Tom McCall Riverbank Trail (TMcRT):  This essentially level, six foot wide trail veers west (right) from the Great Meadow Road near its beginning.  Just across a bridge over the original course of the Arboretum Entrance Creek it enters the Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden at 110 feet from the beginning of the Riverbank Trail.  It leaves the garden at 370 feet.  Just before this is the bench Patricia Baker particularly requested (designed and built by Tom LoCascio).   We placed it here because rapids in the Coast Fork “talk” to a person on the bench at any time of year.  We felt that this would be particularly beautiful for visually impaired visitors.  Within the Wildflower Garden we have used a gravel surface on the trail in order to make it easier for those in wheel chairs.  (We have received many compliments for this gesture.)  Beyond the Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden the Tom McCall Riverbank Trail is surfaced with bark.  At 775 feet (0.15 miles) the Great Meadow Trail turns off to the east (left) close to the Tinker bench which looks out over the Coast Fork, upstream towards the swimming hole.  For most of its length this trail is under scattered cover mostly from Oregon ash and Oregon White oak trees.  It skirts the high bank of the Coast Fork from the Garden to its end,  but every few years a flood is large enough to put water over low points on the trail in two places.

George Jette had wanted to move the Great Meadow Road right next to the river and have only a trail through the middle of the meadow.  As I thought about this and talked to others, we came to a consensus that the existing road was nicely aligned and that the riverbank was much more valuable for a trail.  While I was supervising the crew’s work on the Eight Foot Trail,  I decided to build a bridge across the former course of the Arboretum Entrance Creek south of the old farm house (which had not yet been assigned to the Arboretum).  (This was the first bridge I ever designed and built.  The basic design has been used for nearly every bridge built in the Arboretum since then.  Two heavy steel reinforced concrete chair shaped (in cross section) piers are built facing each other across the stream or depression.  Heavy timbers sit on the chairs and are thus isolated from ground contact.  As the heavy piers tend to slide down into the depression over time, this strengthens the structure by putting the beams into compression.  The height of the chairs is calculated so that the beams and decking are level with the top of the concrete piers.)  As I worked on this bridge alone on Sundays I walked various routes along the riverbank thinking about where a trail should be.   When the bridge was finished, I laid out the Riverbank Trail.  After Tom LoCascio was hired on April 1 of 1981, we used a garden tiller to till up the whole trail and surfaced it, so Dave Wagner announced that the trail was done on page 1 of the September, 1981 Tree-Time.

After Governor Tom McCall died, many articles pointed out how he had transformed the Coast Fork (and the rest of the Willamette River) from one of the nation’s most polluted to one of its cleanest rivers.  This gave me the idea of naming the Riverbank Trail for him.  I thought this would be a fitting tribute and that it would also bring the Arboretum much needed public notice.  The Board agreed and on June 5, 1983 there was a wonderful dedication ceremony with Tom McCall’s widow, Audrey, then Governor Atiyah and many local dignitaries present.  Maury Jacobs gave a speech outlining some of the efforts to bring  Mount Pisgah into public ownership (see page 7 of the July, 1983 and pages 6 and 7 of September, 1983 Tree-Time.

This trail is very heavily used because of its views of the Coast Fork and the Great Meadow through the fringe of (mostly) Oregon white oaks.  In the spring there are many wildflowers.  It provides an essentially level long walk by continuing through the Water Garden which is appreciated by those who like to avoid even moderate grades.

23   Hillside Trail (HT):  This four foot wide, bark surfaced trail starts 1,075 feet (0.20 miles) along the Bufords’ Trail.  It is connected by both stairs and an easy grade trail.  From there it heads uphill, at first more steeply to the north but then shifting gradually to the east north east and almost level until its termination at the fourth sharp bend in the Zig-Zag Trail,  810 feet (0.15 miles) from the beginning of that trail.

Very early, I started exploring this hillside for a trail like this one.  I chose the termination at the fourth bend of the Zig-Zag Trail quite early in these explorations but the beginning was not so obvious.  The need for a gentle grade and the need to miss the  drainage channel from the Plateau eventually determined the final choice of the point of beginning.  I actually staked out the trail during the 1981 Wildflower Festival.  I had shown my proposed route to President David Wagner a few days earlier during which tour we made a quick decision I soon regretted.  There was a fifteen foot tall English holly tree (Ilex aquifolium) growing about in the middle of the proposed route, and we decided to cut down this egregious non-native invasive with the chain saw I was carrying.  (Small holly trees can be found throughout the Arboretum and we do usually remove them.)   Before we finished our exploration, I realized this tree could have offered a wonderful opportunity to teach about bird-planted trees in the forest.  On page 1 of the September 1981 Tree-Time Dave Wagner announced that the trail was nearly finished.

There was a huge hollow Douglas fir where the stairs are now.  The saga of removing this dangerous tree is documented in an article on page 4 of the February, 1980 Tree-Time.  The hollow root of this tree was easy to remove and gave the opportunity for stairs designed by Tom LoCascio and me and built by Tom.  We cut down another large but healthy Douglas fir the roots of which we felt had been weakened by the removal of the hollow roots.

On this hillside most of the Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) are less than a century old and rather widely spaced.  Thus in the summer one can look out to the wonderful flat farm fields across the river from the Hillside Trail.  During the summer a hiker is shaded by the tree cover, but cooled by breezes that easily penetrate the widely spaced trees.  Lots of western sword ferns (Polystichum munitum) as well all the early spring wildflowers on a closed canopy hillside are present.

 

24    Incense Cedar Trail (ICT):  This mostly six foot wide, bark surfaced trail starts from the Bufords’ Trail 610 feet from the beginning of that trail.  It extends 1,225 feet (0.23 miles) mostly south to meet the Jette Trail just across the double bridges at its end and 1,145 feet (0.22 miles) from that trail’s beginning (465 feet from the Jette Trail’s end at the Quarry Road).

This trail passes the Octopus Tree (and Phillips Bench) at 275 feet.  The Great Meadow Trail turns off at an acute angle to the north west at 500 feet.  The largest Incense cedar tree (Calocedrus decurrens) in the Arboretum (protected from the wind by being in a forest within a bowl) is at 630 feet.  (It is completely hollow inside due to the work of carpenter ants over many years, but the colony died out without any help from the Arboretum, although the Board had repeatedly discussed this option.)  The middle of a 30 foot long causeway is at 745 feet (0.14 miles) after which the trail slopes up to pass through the Small Meadow enclosed by tall trees.  The trail is accessible by the gator from the north as far as the causeway, but beyond that it is only 42 inches wide on a side hill until it enters the Small Meadow.  From the south end the gator easily reaches the meadow over the double bridges.

This trail is particularly note worthy for the fairy calypso orchids (Calypso bulbosa) which grow along it in profusion from the Great Meadow Trail to the Small Meadow.  I laid out this trail in the winter of 1981/1982.  At that time Dave Wagner had made a list of plant species not yet found at the Arboretum which he felt should grow there.  Fairy calypso was at the top of the list.  As I widened the trail in the spring of 1982 I found huge numbers between the Small Meadow and the (yet-to-be constructed) causeway.  In 1983 an area in Eugene near Moon Mountain, which had many calypso orchids, was being developed.  Although this species is notoriously hard to transplant, it was decided to try to transplant those which were about to be paved over.  They were planted between the causeway and the Great Meadow Trail and many have survived.  This area used to be a particularly good one for finding the saprophytic orchid Corallorhiza striata (striped coral root), but I have not seen many in the last few years.  Spring beauty (Caradamine nutallii), Erythronium oregonum and Fritallaria affinis.  Are also common.  When I designed this trail about half was unshaded, but the growth of incense cedar and Douglas fir has been so rapid that only short stretches are still out from under tree cover.

I originally applied the name Incense Cedar Trail to the whole H-shaped trail complex which included the Great Meadow and Fawn Lily Trails as well as this one (announced on page 4 of the September, 1982 Tree-Time.  Since this was confusing, Tom LoCascio and I thought of names for these other parts at a Site Overview Committee meeting.  All these trails were staked out at the same time and improved together, except that the Fawn Lily Trail has never been brought up to Arboretum standards.

Incense cedar (Calocedrus decurrens) is common all along the trail.  For part of the way it is almost the only tree, which is unusual in the Eugene area.  During World War II this species was in great demand because the army used it for coffins.  There are many very large, heavy, old stumps along the trail.  Most occur on the hillside and have slipped down hill after their roots rotted, leaving a little depression up hill and a considerable pile of plowed dirt down hill.  One of the largest is just south of the junction with the Great Meadow Trail but on the uphill side.  It is less than ten feet from the trail, but it was completely invisible and unknown for three years after the trail was completed until I led a work party to cut blackberries (Rubus armeniacus)  and poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) in that area.  Its discovery was a real surprise to us all.

25    Great Meadow Trail (GMT):  This six foot wide, bark surfaced 805 foot (0.15 miles) long trail begins from the Tom McCall Riverbank Trail at 775 feet (0.15 miles) from that trail’s beginning.  It slopes gently up hill after crossing the Great Meadow Road at 170 feet from the trail’s beginning and 975 feet (0.18 miles) from the road’s beginning.  It passes a picturesque outcropping of rocks and a small grove of Oregon white oaks (Quercus garryana as it goes behind (east) of the Great Meadow Barn.   The (unfinished) Fawn Lily Trail goes gently down hill to the south at 765 feet (0.14 miles) just before the end of the Great Meadow Trail at the Incense Cedar Trail, 500 feet from that trail’s beginning. It is interesting because it starts in oak savannah, crosses open meadow and ends in an incense cedar forest.  Although the views are not grand, they are very pleasing and it is part of several nice circuit tours through the Arboretum.  All the common hillside flowers in the Arboretum can be found on this trail, which is fairly heavily used.

 

26   Upper Bowl Road (UBR):  This eight foot wide gravel surfaced road starts at the Tree Round Junction and heads gradually up hill east-north-east until a wide turn before the Scherer Bench turns it south west but still gradually up hill to finally end 3,325 feet (0.63 miles) later at the Plateau Junction where it meets the end of the Zig-Zag Trail and the beginnings of the Plateau and Upper Plateau Trails.  Just before the Log Landing this road crosses the 8 foot deep little canyon of the First Branch of the Arboretum Entrance Creek.  There is no bridge here and it has had the official name of Missing Bridge ever since 1982.  (From the beginning I have insisted on a bridge capable of carrying a loaded dump truck and my engineering background does not extend that far.)   Because of the need to reach the Plateau, the Temporary Steep Cut-off Road began informally in about 1978.  I reluctantly agreed to gravel this cut-off road in about 1985 so that it could be used year round.

The Cross Meadow Trail and Zig-Zag Trail cross at 480 feet. The South Entrance Creek Trail ends on the north side at 815 feet (0.15 miles) and the Temporary Steep Cut-off Road goes up from the south side at 995 feet (0.19 miles).  Trail #35 goes off gradually up hill to the east at 2,095 feet (0.40 miles) near the beginning of the gradual bend.  Further along this bend, from the east, uphill side of the trail at 2,150 feet (0.41 miles) the Scherer Bench faces west towards Spencer Butte.  The view across the small meadow and into the distance is gorgeous and one often finds people sitting on this bench.  The middle of the approximately 30 foot long Missing Bridge is at 2,680 feet (0.51 miles).  A primitive temporary trail is uphill from the Missing Bridge.  The upper end of the Temporary Steep Cut-off Road is at 2,800 feet (0.53 miles).  The old Log Landing is between these two points.  (As we cleared the blackberries that filled this level area we found lots of small pieces of old logging equipment.  Remains of primitive haul roads leading to the Log Landing also indicated its origin.  From aerial photographs it appears it was used from the early 1960s to shortly before we leased the site.)  This road skirts the north edge of the Douglas fir forest (invading a slope previously inhabited by Oregon White Oak and big leaf maple) until it passes the Temporary Steep Cut-off Road.  From there it traverses a meadow until 250 feet from the Missing Bridge.  It is in the open again as it crosses the Log Landing and for the last 200 feet.

One day in about 1978 when Howard Buford, Bill Coslow and I were at the Arboretum with a bulldozer, we decided to reopen an old logging road from the Plateau down to the log landing.  Bill did the work.  The bulldozer must have  come up the route of the Temporary Steep Cut-off Road and along this old logging road.  This is the extreme east end of the Upper Bowl Road.

By the time we had finished Bufords’ Trail to give access to the Plateau for a large pickup truck such as Howard’s, it was obvious that that trail would never be improved to hold a loaded dump truck.  There was a path from the Tree-Round Junction (which then had a primitive kiosk built by Gerry Gibbs) to the bottom of the Zig-Zag Trail.  There was no path or road beyond that, but in the summer we could drive a pick-up truck up to the First Branch of the Arboretum Entrance Stream where a shallow canyon cut off further progress.   I considered it essential to be able to reach the Plateau with large equipment.  So early in the summer of 1982 I staked out the Upper Bowl Road and cleared the area of brush.  The last dry Thursday in late September of 1982, I hired Peter Lyshog, a skilled bulldozer operator, and borrowed a D-8 cat from Korobkin Construction (a developer I knew).  In one morning, Peter graded the new road and re-graded and widened the hand built lower portion of the Buford’s Trail up to where it goes into the woods.  I had Wildish Gravel Company (which still operated from Plant #1 near the Arboretum) spread gravel in the afternoon.  But the fall rain started before they could finish and they dumped the last two loads just beyond the future position of the Scherer Bench.  All fall and winter the higher portion of this newly graded road was too muddy to spread the gravel, but on New Years Day of 1982 the temperature was well below freezing so (with borrowed wheelbarrows) several of us spread the gravel over the icy road surface.  (Of course, we had to use pick axes to break through the frozen gravel on the surface of the pile to dig out the rest of the gravel.)  The saga of this day’s work party was written up on page 1 of the February 1983 Tree-Time.

 

27    Pond Lily Trail (PLT):  This four to six foot wide, 870 foot long, bark surfaced trail begins only 20 feet from the Vern Adkison Bench Junction along the South Meadow Road.  It follows the low east side of the Water Garden main slough southeast past the northeast end of the Adkison Bridge (590 feet along the Pond Lily Trail and at the termination of the Water Garden Main Trail, 985 feet (0.19 miles) from the beginning of that trail) until it rises slightly to join the Quarry Road right where the Jette Trail heads up hill on the opposite side and 845 feet (0.16 miles) from the beginning of that road.  Much of this trail is subject to flooding in even moderate high water events.  None is accessible even by the gator.  The whole trail is under the cover of trees.

I am slightly puzzled by the history of this trail.  On page 4 of the September, 1982 Tree-Time  I wrote that it was finished.  However I have such a clear memory of a frantic effort to build a portion in the spring of 1983, that I am sure it could not have been entirely finished.  During the early spring of 1983, I was very busy at the University and Captain Holmquist kept assuring me that the Marine Corps Reserve would not start building the Vern Adkison Bridge for at least three weeks.  Then something changed for him and he called me one Wednesday afternoon to tell me that they would bring their equipment and establish camp Friday afternoon to begin construction Saturday morning.   Fortunately I could get free on Thursday so I VERY quickly began building an access trail that forms the south end of the Pond Lily Trail.  Because I had no time, this portion of the trail is “straight like a dead snake “.  This portion is the only trail at the Arboretum I have designed (well, I really did not design this one, lets say “laid out”) about which I am embarrassed.  This trail fragment served its purpose as the Marines quickly built the big bridge.  I think the explanation must be that there was a primitive trail in fall 1982 which would not be suitable for construction of a bridge by the Marines.  My memory is that there was nothing on the south end when I began that frantic that Thursday morning but perhaps I’m wrong.  I believe Tom and the crew were mainly responsible for the construction of the rest of the Pond Lily Trail.

This trail is only a few dozen feet from the Quarry Road, but it is so much lower that it provides a very quiet walk along the edge of the Water Garden much closer to the water than the trails on the west side.  There are all the spring flowers which grow in our wetter areas plus, on the west side, large spiraea bushes (Spiraea douglasii)  with pink flowering spikes which species is one of the few plants at the Arboretum which continues to bloom during most of the summer.  It is a quiet, narrow trail favored by many, particularly those looking for birds in the Water Garden.

28   Connector Trail (Beistel) (CT):  This four foot wide, 560 foot long, gravel surfaced, moderately steep trail leads from near the upper end of the South Entrance Creek Trail (875 feet (0.17 miles) from the beginning of that trail)  up the open slope by one switchback to the Beistel Trail (670 feet from the beginning of that trail) where the Level Cross Slope Trail continues to the north west.

The very highest portion of this trail began life as an informal route used by equestrians to enter the Arboretum.  I believe Tom LoCascio built a fence and style to keep them out.  We decided that there should be a route for hikers to reach the top of Mount Pisgah from within the Arboretum.  (It was a frequent occurrence to meet someone in the Arboretum asking how to get to the summit.)  I laid out the trail in the summer of 1984 and it did not take long to build a primitive version which has not yet been fully upgraded.  Its completion was announced on page 2 of the September, 1984 Tree-Time.  The Site Overview Committee has recently discussed upgrading this trail and has removed the fence and style near its upper end.

The views from the trail up into the Upper Bowl and across the valley to Spencer Butte are pleasant.  Near the McCulley Bench (a bench with stone piers built in 1991 about 240 feet from the trail’s beginning) the Arboretum has planted a number of ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa) most of which are flourishing despite the fact that the nearest naturally occurring members of the species are half a mile south.

 

29    Cross Meadow Trail (CMT):  This six foot wide, short (205 foot long), gently rising, bark surfaced trail starts from the South Entrance Creek Trail just before it crosses the south branch of the Arboretum Entrance Creek onto the small island,  510 feet from the beginning of that trail.  As its name implies it crosses the Canyon Meadow to the beginning of the Zig-Zag Trail, which is 480 feet from the beginning of the Upper Bowl Road.  The whole trail can be traversed by the gator.

It was obvious from my first years supervising the site that a trail was needed to allow those on the South Entrance Creek Trail to get to the bottom of the Zig-Zag Trail,  So, in about 1985 (my memory for dates is poor), I got around to staking out and building a primitive version of this trail.  I assume Tom helped me with the two culverts and widening the trail.

The views from the trail up and down this small meadow in the bottom of a small canyon are nice, but the trail exists to get visitors to the Zig-Zag Trail.  It is fairly well used.  There is tree cover over only the first few feet.

 

[22]   Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden Main Trail (PBWGMT): This six foot wide, level, gravel surfaced trail is just the 265 foot portion of  the Tom McCall Riverbank Trail which happens to be within the Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden.  Thus the beginning of this trail is just west of the bridge into the garden (at 110 feet on the TMcRT) and the termination is at the bronze plaque marking the south end of the garden (at 370 feet along the TMcRT).  At this point the PBWG Creek Canyon Trail also ends.  When Pat Baker knew she was dying she asked that a Wildflower Garden be established in her memory at the Arboretum.  Her only more specific request was that there should be a bench for visitors to rest on.  This bench, designed and built by Tom LoCascio is just before the end of this PBWG Main Trail.  It faces a particularly audible rapid in the Coast fork that “talks” to anyone sitting on the bench at all seasons of the year.

All the other Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden trails leave from this one.  LaCoss Associates designed the whole garden in 1984 while I was away on sabbatical leave.  (We had chosen the placement of the garden before I left, but their design was considerably larger than had previously been considered by anyone.  They simply incorporated the existing longer trail in their design as what we now call the PBWG Creek Canyon Trail.  When I returned I supervised building the trails from their drawings with help from Tom and many others.  The central trail in their design was incorporated into the Tom McCall Riverbank Trail in place of the Creek Canyon stretch.  It was surfaced with inch and ahalf minus, 3/4 inch minus and then very fine (1/7 inch minus) gravel for the benefit of those confined to wheelchairs.  By about 1990 the Garden had nearly 100 hundred native species growing in lush profusion, but the volunteers who had spearheaded this enormous effort had to withdraw over time due to advancing age and failing health.  Unfortunately, probably due to the heavy clay soil, most of the introduced plant species did not survive the long period of relative neglect.  This garden was partially restored under the direction of Kate McGee in the early 2000’s but maintenance of an herbaceous garden is really beyond the ability of the present small Arboretum staff.

Like the whole Tom McCall Riverbank Trail, this trail is heavily used and fully accessible to the Arboretum gator which is essential to garden maintenance. All the Wildflower Garden Trails are in partial shade from trees.  A few of the red current (Ribes sanguineum) and many of the pink coast fawn lilies Erythronium  revolutum  we planted have survived.

 

22a    Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden Creek Canyon Trail (PBWGCCT):  This bark surfaced, four to six foot wide trail begins at the bridge into the garden and follows the creek quite closely until the creek falls into the Coast Fork at the bottom of a small but remarkable canyon.  It ends 300 feet later at the south end of the garden where it rejoins the Tom McCall Riverbank Trail, 370 feet from the beginning of that trail.  It is quite scenic with a view area for the little canyon on the east (right) side after which it crosses a much smaller little canyon where a fern garden is currently being developed.  In addition to all the other flowers in the garden, there have always been a few plants of fairy bells (Prosartes hookeri) along the east side of the northern end of this trail.

This trail follows the original alignment of the Tom McCall Riverbank Trail which I laid out in 1981, but we transferred the Tom McCall name to the PBWG Main Trail when I built it.

22b   Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden North West Trail (PBWGNWT):  This short (60 foot long), five foot wide, level, bark surfaced trail leaves the PBWG Creek Canyon Trail 90 feet from that trail’s beginning and ends at the PBWG Main Trail, 95 feet from that trail’s beginning.  Like the other PBWG trails it was designed by LaCoss Associates in 1984 while I was out of town on sabbatical.

22c   Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden East Trail (PBWGET): This short (165 foot long), six foot wide, level, bark surfaced trail leaves the PBWG Main Trail on the east (left) side 55 feet from that trail’s beginning and joins the Great Meadow Road 210 feet from the beginning of that road. LaCoss Associates design-ed this trail to give a view of the original course of the Arboretum Entrance Creek which now has very little flow.  (Two other PBWG trails went south from this one in the original design which I constructed, but these  have now been abandoned.)  When we built the handicapped accessible rest rooms in 1988, this trail also provided a shortcut to or from them.

22d   Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden South West Trail (PBWGSWT): This short (60 foot long), six foot wide, level trail leaves the PBWG Creek Canyon Trail 120 feet from that trail’s beginning and ends at the PBWG Main Trail, 185 feet from that trail’s beginning.

In the PBWG’s original design this was the middle one of three short trails connecting the Creek Canyon and Main Trail, but the southern most one has now been abandoned.

30  Temporary Steep Cut-off Road (TSCR):  This unfortunate, 8 foot wide, gravel surfaced road goes steeply uphill at 995 feet from the beginning of the Upper Bowl Road.  It ends at the Upper Bowl Road just south west of the Log Landing and about 2,800 feet from the beginning of that road and 525 feet from its termination.

I reluctantly allowed this trail to be graveled about 1985.  It probably follows the route of an old road to the log landing, and came into use informally over several years.  I had hoped to have a bridge built so that the Upper Bowl Road could be used to reach the plateau, since Howard’s Eight Foot Trail was not really practical.  This cut-off road is now used year round to get trucks to the plateau and also gets a surprising amount of use by hikers despite its steep slope and uninviting surface.  However it is an abomination and should be restored to nature as soon as the Missing Bridge is built.  There are several attractive routes for a hiking trail to replace this eyesore.  Perhaps the best angles gradually up from the lowest switchback on the Zig-Zag Trail.

 

31   Upper Plateau Trail (UPT): This minor trail begins at the Plateau Junction where the Zig-Zag Trail,  Upper Bowl Road and Plateau Trail all meet this one.  It ends 1,085 feet (0.21 miles) later at the South Plateau Junction where the Bufords’ Trail and Plateau Trail also end and the Jette Trail starts.  It is nearly level except that the last 200 feet slope down hill.  For most of its distance it is right along the west (lower) edge of a substantial grove of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and other tree species, but then it traverses a short stretch of similar wood with a minor stream and ends in a meadow with some exposed bedrock.  It basically parallels the (old) Plateau Trail on the other side of the open Plateau and thus about 300 feet east.  The whole area of the trail was outside the Arboretum boundary until it was enlarged in September, 1996.  The gator can travel the first 700 feet.

I staked this trail out in the summer of 1996.  My 61st and 62nd birthday work parties were devoted to finishing it starting at the north end.  Rob O’Connor worked with me to build a primitive trail to be enlarged at these work parties,

There are two branches:  At 135 the Burtner Bench Trail goes uphill to the east (left) and at 560 feet the East Connector Trail has been improved for about its first 150 feet.  The sharp bend south of the small stream is at 855 feet (0.16 miles).  The Martin Bench faces west across the Plateau at 390 feet and the Kemler Bench (with stone piers) is exactly where she wanted it, well shaded in the little woods, at 755 feet.  The views across the plateau are grand, and this trail now seems to be more used than the old Plateau Trail, but that is till the route of the education program.

32   Burtner Bench Trail (BBT):  This short, moderately steep, minor trail starts from the east side of the Upper Plateau Trail 140 feet from that trail’s beginning.  It climbs with two switchbacks  390 feet in length and about 35 feet in height to the Burtner Bench which is just below the level east boundary of the Arboretum.  This point is also the beginning of the East Boundary Trail.  The proposed north extension of that trail begins at the upper sharp bend of the Burtner Bench Trail just 30 feet short of the bench.

It was designed and mostly built by Theodore W. Palmer.  Rob O’Connor also helped with its construction, and it was completed November 15, 1997 with help from David Burtner who had commissioned the bench in honor of his late wife.  This is one of two connectors between the Upper Plateau Trail and the East Boundary Trail shown on the Master Plan.  It has lovely views and no shade.  The gator can climb to the first sharp turn, where a straight connector trail might be extended.

33   Theodore’s Trail (Trail #17) (TT):  This moderately steep (5%) gravel surfaced trail heads north and uphill from 95 feet along Beistel Trail. After 915 feet (0.17 miles) it exits across the Arboretum’s north boundary and continues another 1,500± feet (0.3± miles) until it meets Trail #7.  (Trail #7 then meets Trail #3 on the North Saddle of Mount Pisgah.  Trail #3 leads back to Beistel Trail which goes to the summit.)  The first 420 feet are six feet wide and useable by the Arboretum’s gator, but beyond that the trail is about 3 feet wide.  It is at the 420 foot mark, where the trail first goes into the woods, that the North Boundary Trail turns off to the north (right).  Just before that the Level Cross Slope Trail heads south.  (Neither of these level trails has been finished yet.  They follow the edge of one of the level lava flows that make up Mount Pisgah.)  After Theodore’s Trail leaves the Arboretum it becomes significantly steeper.

A schematic version of this trail was shown on the Buford Master Plan dated 1992.  I do not know who put it there, but I had considered this trail ever since I first walked Trail #7.  The whole area where this trail was to be built was covered with impenetrable thickets of poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum), blackberry (Rubus armeniacus) and broom (Cytisus scoparius).  About 1999 Stuart Mulford of FBP/MP and I started consulting on turning the schematic trail into a physical reality.  I spent most of my outdoor time for more than a year clearing a wide area around the proposed trail, helped some of the time by Rob O’Connor. (This was when I needed two canes to walk.  I used my tools as canes, but I could only back down the steep hill when my work was done.)  The trail was finally designed by Stuart Mulford, Pat and Kevin McGraw and myself beginning about March, 2000.  I then built the first 420 feet.  The trail was finished by a giant FBP/MP and REI work party on my birthday in 2002, but I was away in Washington, D. C. that day. Lane County Parks named the trail for me on November 16, 2002.  (I learned a few days before the ceremony, what was underfoot, and asked that they use my given name rather than my family name, as they had intended.)

The trail has spectacular views which improve after it leaves the Arboretum.  Just before it heads into the woods for a final time, there is the largest and most dense stand of native iris (Iris tenax) in HBRA of which I am aware, but this is also beyond the Arboretum north boundary.  Approximately a third of those hiking to the top of Mount Pisagh now use this much more scenic but longer route.

34    Fawn Lily Trail (FLT):  This unfinished, un-surfaced, 540 foot long trail has been shown on MPA maps since 1982 and is easy to follow.  It starts from near the end of the Great Meadow Trail 765 feet (0.14 miles) from its beginning.  A short three to four foot wide stretch heads down hill to the south west until it joins a very old 8 foot wide road heading about south-south-east which joins the Quarry Road 725 feet (0.14 miles) from that road’s beginning.  The trail slopes slightly down hill but the last portion is essentially level.  The lower portion can be navigated by a heavy truck in the summer and the whole trail is open to the gator year round.  Near the end it is very wet eight months of the year.

This trail was originally considered to be part of the Incense Cedar Trail Complex, but Tom LoCascio and I gave it its own name probably about 1987.  Fawn lilies (Erythronium oregonum) are very prominent and showy early in the spring.  The dominant tree is Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens).  The trail is mostly in dense shade.  Because of its primitive (and wet) nature it receives comparatively little use, but it has some passionate advocates.  (In late 1980 a large falled Douglas fir blocks the south end of the trail but I hope this will be removed soon.

 

35   Trail #35;  This primitive, informal, 770 foot (0.15 miles) long trail starts from the Upper Bowl Road at 2,095 feet (0.40 miles), just below the Scherer Bench.  It climbs gradually below the tree line along the south east side of the upper bowl until it meets the Upper Bowl Trail at 645 feet.  From there Trail #35 climbs much too steeply up the middle of a mostly dry old draw through the edge of a level lava flow.  This last short section is totally inappropriate for an Arboretum trail, but the rest of the trail is actually very well designed.  It travels near the bottom of the rising slope on the south east side of the Upper Bowl, giving a pleasant view and staying out of the wet areas a bit lower.

This trail has existed about as long as the Arboretum, and is recognized in the Howard Buford Recreation Area Master Plan.  (All the trails in that document are numbered.  A trail with a two digit number provides a connection between two single digit trails.  This trail connects Trail #5 which follows the Coast Fork mostly on Arboretum trails and roads and Trail #3, the horse trail leading high above the Arboretum from the North Trail Head near the equestrian area all the way around the Mountain to the East Trail Head.)  It is quite heavily used by those wishing to reach the summit by a less crowded route.

Most of this trail can quite easily be brought up to the Arboretum standard and will prove popular and of great value.  It is imperative that it be wide enough for the gator or possibly for a full size pickup truck.  The final short, too-steep section should be relocated.  It could be moved north-east up the next draw or replaced by a switch back trail near its present steep route.  We currently intend  to improve the less steep part of the trail during 2009.

36    South Connector Road (SCR):  This slightly rising, six to eight foot wide road starts from the Jette Trail at 700 feet (0.13 miles) from that trail’s beginning and ends 340 feet later at the Bonneville South Level Road 175 feet from the beginning of that road.

Most of this was clearly part of the Bonneville system of haul roads when they built the southern power lines, but it was completely over grown with 6 to 10 inch circumference trees as well as blackberries and poison oak when I found it, cleared it, and improved several portions of it.  It is now used by quite a few hikers but also provides access by our dump truck to bring bark for surfacing the Jette Trail.  It has never been shown on Arboretum maps nor formally adopted as a trail, and it has not been entirely brought up to Arboretum standards.  It would be extremely easy to do so.  Most of the trail is shaded.

37    East Connector Trail  (ECT): This informal, unimproved, roughly three foot wide trail begins from the Upper Plateau Trail 560 feet from the beginning of that trail.  In fact we improved and finished about the first 120 feet of this trail (shown on current Arboretum maps) in 1997 when we built the Upper Plateau Trail.  Beyond the point of these improvements this heavily used informal trail heads south east often over bare bedrock until it leaves the Arboretum’s east boundary at the head of a steep rocky section 640 feet later.  In the winter much of the trail is a running stream, but it is still used by many hikers.  With considerable difficulty it can be approximately followed by the gator.

I strongly recommend that this trail be obliterated after we build suitable replacements.  These would be the South East Boundary Trail and the East Boundary Trail.  It cannot be removed until hikers are provided with an alternative.

38   North Boundary Trail (NBT):  This short six foot wide, as-yet unbuilt trail follows the edge of one of the level lava flows from 420 feet along Theodore’s Trail where it is a continuation of the Level Cross Slope Trail.  It will provide an essential route by which the gator can reach the only small plateau along the Arboretum’s north boundary for maintenance of this whole area.  The views along this trail will be very pleasant, but they are already available from the upper portions of Theodore’s Trail.  Its purpose is to provide vehicular access to a beautiful site and for annual maintenance.  I also plan to build a covered picnic table in honor of my father on the little plateasu.

39   Level Cross Slope Trail (LCST):  This six foot wide nearly level as-yet-unbuilt trail begins from Theodore’s Trail 405 feet from the beginning of that trail and just below the point where the North Boundary Trail leaves.  It curves around the steep open hillside under the northern Bonneville power lines until after 760 feet (0.14 miles) from its beginning it ends at the northwest side of Beistel Trail just where the Connector Trail enters from the southeast side.

 

Most of this trail is an old informal equestrian path dating from before the beginning of the Arboretum.  I relocated the north end uphill from this original informal trail.  I have regularly maintained this old trail since my earliest days at the Arboretum.  It has only a short stretch of shade about 600 feet along the trail.

This trail needs to be built wide enough for the gator for maintenance on this steep slope which is completely in view to anyone in the parking lots or climbing Mount Pisgah by Beistel Trail.  The trail will be easy to build six feet wide except at two points.  About two-thirds of the way along the trail it goes around a rocky corner just where it briefly enters under tree cover.  I long ago designed a cribbing in my mind for this point.  (This is one of the most basic designs for a former mining engineer, such as myself.)  The termination at Beistel Trail need some substantial excavation for about a dozen feet to provide a proper grade and width.  Bedrock is not very far from the surface at a number of points along the trail, but this will not be very difficult to deal with except, possibly, near the termination.

The distant views from this trail are very pleasant, but its main purpose is to provide access for maintenance.

40   East Boundary Trail (EBT):  This six foot wide, 2,435 foot long, as-yet unbuilt trail begins from the Burtner Bench and heads basically south and almost perfectly level just below the Arboretum’s east boundary until after it crosses the South East Boundary Trail 1,175 from the beginning of the East Boundary Trail and 580 feet from the beginning of the South East Boundary Trail,  Up to this point the trail has had only brief stretches of tree shade.  From there it begins to descend gradually away from the east Boundary until it enters a dense mixed Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) forest at about 1,350 feet (0.26 miles).  It descends through this forest by four switchbacks until it ends at the South Connector Road 100 feet from the beginning of that road at the Jette Trail just below the David Douglas Monument.  Only the very end of this trail was in the Arboretum before 1996.  It makes about a quarter of the new area added to the Arboretum available to visitors by a suitable trail for the first time.

I began work on designing this trail about 1991, as soon as I was sure that the area covered by the trail would be included in the expanded Arboretum lease.  I hiked many alternative alignments over one hundred times, taking along others on some of these hikes as my ideas began to become more concrete.  As a result a reasonably accurate version of the trail appears on the Mount Pisgah Arboretum Master Plan Conceptual Site Plan map dated September, 1993.  Well before 1996 the Site Overview Committee agreed to complete this trail as then designed and the Board agreed soon after the new lease was signed, but since then I have been its main (only?) supporter.  Every year I mow the grassy portions, remove hateful plants and make minor improvements to the portions on steep slopes.

About the first five hundred feet has distant changing views.  At 620 feet the trail goes right along the bottom of a six foot tall moist lava ledge with interesting plants.  In this stretch it varies between open hillside and small groves.  At the end of one grove is the largest free standing poison oak (Toxicodendron diversilobum) tree in the Arboretum—17 inches in circumference just below its first branch, four feet above the ground.  At 1,020 feet it crosses the much used, but execrable, East Connector Trail (which should be replaced and obliterated) just before that trail leaves the Arboretum’s east boundary.   After it goes into the steep open woods the views continue surprisingly distant.  At the first switchback (1,470 feet) there is a magnificent (circumferences at breast height 59 and 66 inches, respectively), still healthy, double Oregon white oak (Quercus garryana) set among many towering Douglas firs.  Although the hillside was logged for fir and incense cedar (probably in the early 1960s), the next notable tree is a Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)  159 inches in circumference!  (It, and several other old giants, were probably too high on the hillside to be harvested.)  Just after this tree, as the trail approaches its second switchback, it enters the only grove in the Arboretum of mature madrone trees (Arbutus menziesii).  The individuals closest to the trail have circumferences at breast height of 25, 29, 29 and 34 inches respectively.  (By contrast, the single madrone on the Jette Trail has a circumference of 11.5 inches.)  I have known these trees for more about 20 years.  From the first they showed signs of stress from the shade of the fast growing Douglas firs around them, but in recent years the stress has clearly increased.  The Accessions and Collections Committee is not sure what can been done to help them without an unacceptable amount of tree felling.

Just after the last switchback (at 2,340 feet) the trail passes just above the largest (118 inches circumference at breast height) ) ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) in the Arboretum.  The only other naturally occurring specimens of this species (of intermediate size) are distributed down hill from the previous leg of the trail.

Nowhere is this trail steep, but it is one of the longest and most remote trails from the entrance.  Its inclusion in the Master Plan, compiled almost fifteen years ago, is  indicative of the fact that it is one of the most important trails to complete in order to make the basic attractions of the Arboretum accessible to the public.  Among those seeking a longer hike, I predict that it will become one of the most popular routes since (with the trails needed to reach it and return) it shows off nearly everything the site has to offer.

 

41   Upper Bowl Trail (UBT):  This 1,530 foot long as-yet-unbuilt trail begins at the end of the Old North Service Road where the Arboretum Entrance Creek comes right up against the steep northern slope of the Upper Bowl.  It follows closely along the north bank of the Arboretum Entrance Creek from its beginning to where it crosses to the south bank by a small foot bridge which should be replaced by a substantial bridge 655 feet from its beginning.  This is also where the East Upper Bowl Trail diverges gradually uphill to the north.  From there it follows the creek on its south side until a low bridge crosses to the north again at about 905 feet (0.17 miles).  It then climbs up away from the creek to take advantage of magnificent views of the whole Upper Bowl and Spencer Butte. It gradually returns and crosses the creek at a scenic rapid at 1,135 feet (0.21 miles) and reaches its highest point where the East Upper Bowl Trail diverges uphill to the north at 1,235 feet (0.23 miles).  From there it gradually curves down hill to the south west to join Trail #35 just before that trail heads very steeply uphill and out of the Arboretum.  With Trail #35 and a bit of the Upper Bowl Road this makes a loop hike of 3,790 feet (0.72 miles) starting and ending at the two bridges at the east (upper) end of the South Entrance Creek Trail.  There is almost no tree cover over the Upper Bowl Trail, so hot summer afternoons are not the best time to hike it, but it will surely be one of our most popular trails when it is completed, particularly when the Entrance Creek is flowing.

 

This will be the first trail to make the whole upper bowl (more than 15% of the Arboretum area) accessible by trail.  This area has an ecology and views quite different from any others within the Arboretum. None of this area was in the Arboretum before I signed the new lease in September, 1996.  Furthermore the early part of the trail shows off many dozen little waterfalls and rapids along the Arboretum Entrance Creek as it descends steeply down the bottom of the large (over 150 acres, mostly outside the Arboretum) upper bowl. I have twice shown this trail to Arboretum Board members and others with enthusiastic responses.  Although totally unimproved, it already gets moderate use.

In my opinion, this trail and the last one discussed are essential to making the main parts of our site accessible to the public.  Like any trail it protects the landscape around it by confining human intrusion to areas chosen and prepared to contain their impact.  The next two trails (particularly the first one) are essential to our being able to provide safety, supervision, invasive control and routine maintenance in the Upper Bowl.

42  East Upper Bowl Trail (EUBT): This six foot wide, 930 foot (0.18 miles) long, as-yet-unbuilt trail begins 1,235 feet (0.23 miles) along the Upper Bowl Trail at that trail’s high point just after it leaves the Arboretum Entrance Creek.  It crosses the small main headwaters of the Arboretum Entrance Creek and then steadily gains elevation by two zig-zags until it meets an old, wide, well-built Bonneville Power Administration road which takes it to the Beistel Trail at the Arboretum’s East Boundary.  The West Upper Bowl Trail ends 360 feet from the East Upper Bowl Trail’s beginning and just before it joins the old BPA road.

 

It is essential that this trail be built to accommodate at least the Arboretum gator if not pick-up trucks since it will be the principle route for bringing equipment into the higher parts of the Upper Bowl, for rescue of injured or sick visitors and for fire fighting, both by us (if we have the capability) and by other authorities.  The distant views from this trail across the Upper Bowl are glorious and there are interesting local features also.  It may well become a popular route to climb to the top of Mount Pisgah.  But its main purpose is the security of the upper bowl and the ability to manage it provided by a circuit route through it.

When Trail #35 within the Arboretum is improved this trail will provide a gator accessible 6,615 foot long (1.25 mile) loop through the highest part of the Upper Bowl within the Arboretum starting and finishing at the beginning of Beistel Trail.  In the future, as the Arboretum develops, it will probably be necessary (and it will be fairly easy) to improve this trail to carry heavy trucks and equipment.

 

43  West Upper Bowl Trail (WUBT): This four to six foot wide, as-yet-unbuilt trail begins 655 feet along the Upper Bowl Trail just before that trail crosses the Arboretum Entrance Creek to its south side.  It steadily gains elevation with two switchbacks until it terminates after 530 feet at the East Upper Bowl Trail 360 feet from the beginning of that trail and just before that trail joins the old BPA road.

 

Between the switchbacks this trail need not be wide enough for the gator, which is convenient since it on a moderately steep side hill in this stretch.  Like the other Upper Bowl Trails, this one has truly wonderful distant views and also passes through interesting, high, relatively dry meadow habitats different from any elsewhere in the Arboretum and through some scattered oak savannahs.  During fall 2008, I have done some minor improvements of these three trails.

(Note added in 2009:  I have decided to propose that we should include an informal gator road that I have used for a decade as a southern extension of the WUBT.  This addition begins where Trail #35 leaves the Upper Bowl road, crosses the Second Branch and terminates at the bridge where the UBT crosses the Arboretum Entrance Creek at the former beginning of the WUBT. I have not measured its length, but guess it to be about 60 feet.  It is essentially level and provides much better connectivity,)

 

44  South East Boundary Trail (SEBT):  This 6 foot wide trail begins at the end of the improved section of the East Connector Trail about 165 feet from the beginning of that trail at the Upper Plateau Trail.  It traverses what appears to be an open bowl except that the west side is formed by tall Douglas fir trees (Pseudotsuga menziesii) rather than rising ground.  It is west of the existing (deplorable) East Connector Trail, where the bedrock is not quite so close to the surface, but like that trail it crosses a large area of very poorly organized drainage, so that several culverts and drainage channels will need to be built.  Towards the south end of this bowl it climbs up to cross the East Boundary Trail 1,175 feet (0.22 miles) from the beginning of that trail and 580 feet from the beginning of the South East Boundary Trail.

It is essential that this trail be wide enough for the Arboretum gator since it gives our only access to about 30 acres of our site.   Several years ago I moved many heavy boulders to make the route passable, but essentially no other improvements have been made.  At present the trail actually goes a few feet outside of the East Boundary of the Arboretum three times, but two of these short stretches can be corrected without a great deal of work.  The first occurs at a steep stone outcrop.  A small, easily built cribbing and some fill will allow the trail to remain within our east boundary.  The next problems can be overcome by easy hand road grading.  I believe that this gator road will be more useful to both the Arboretum and the Howard Buford Recreation Area if the final couple of hundred feet remain outside the Arboretum Boundary.  They now follow an old Bonneville Power Administration Road which is in pretty good condition to join the Southern Bonneville Service road a little bit beyond our southeast corner.  The structure of the basalt outcrops in this area make relocating the end of the road within the present Arboretum boundary almost impossible without great expense and creating a substantial eyesore, but its present configuration makes its junction with SBSR very convenient.

Although I have made the present route of this road passable for the gator, it is still pretty rough.  If we had to rescue a sick or injured hiker from this area, (which is quite heavily used by those climbing Mount Pisgah from the south) or to speed to a fire or accident, it would be challenging.  Furthermore, it is impossible to obliterate the present ecologically disastrous East Connector Trail used by these hikers until we replace it with something like this trail which will share almost none of the problems of that one.  Every Lane County Park Director since Paul Beistel has hoped to somehow obliterate the East Connector Trail.

45  South Connector Trail (SCT):  This trail starts from the Jette Trail 700 feet (0.13 miles) from the beginning of that trail.  It extends along a gently up hill route 210 feet to the beginning (west end) of the Bonneville South Level Trail.  It has existed as a primitive trail for about eight years and is moderately heavily used, because it is a convenient link, and attractive despite its short length.  On its west (right) side is a rocky, sharp drop off.  Improving it to be four feet wide would be easy.  Alternatively, it could continue to serve its purpose without improvement.

46   South East Trail (SET):  This 565 foot long, as-yet unbuilt, minor  trail starts in deep woods at the first sharp bend of the East Boundary Trail, 1,470 feet (0.28 miles) from the beginning of that trail.  It slopes down through woods for its first 265 feet , crosses a stream at 470 feet and joins the Southern Bonneville Service Road about 850 feet (0.16 miles) above its beginning.  The trail shows off nice flora and views, and would provide pleasant new walks through the Arboretum for those wanting long walks.  When the south portion of the arboretum is developed, perhaps in the distant future, it would become much more useful.  It is the least essential of all the unfinished trails and is infrequently used.

47    Water Fall Trail (WFT):  This as-yet un-designed trail will start at the Log Landing and zig-zag up the hillside along the southwest bank of the steep First Branch of the Arboretum Entrance Creek to end just below the Water Fall where the view is best.  A small viewing platform and several benches here will be much appreciated.  The slope upstream from the waterfall is much too steep for trail building.   This trail has been discussed since the early 1980s but no route has ever been chosen.  An old logging road went from the log landing very steeply along the southwest side of the First Branch.  When it was abandoned it eroded so profoundly that it is now a two to three foot deep channel which carries only a small amount of water (thanks in part to diversion work I did back in the early 1980s).  This channel complicates trail building.  Most likely it will have to be crossed several times.  This will be a very attractive side trail to see the water fall and the flowers which grow in this small canyon which remains damp longer than any other location high in the Arboretum.

 

48     North Extension of the East Boundary Trail (NEEBT):  This as-yet partially undesigned trail starts at the top bend of the Burtner Bench Trail, just below the bench.  The first couple of hundred feet are obvious, partially improved and receive a fair amount of use.  Beyond there, no decisions on the trail route have ever been made.  I have walked approximate alignments many more than my customary 40 times.  The area until one gets to the First Branch of the Arboretum Entrance Creek above the Water Fall is heavily covered with sword ferns, so that many would need to be moved no matter where the trail went.  There are no obvious features to dictate one route over another, so I suspect the trail will stay just below the east boundary (which is staked  with red stakes with red flags about every 30 feet).  This brings one to the First Branch where there are large rock outcrops on either side of the very steep stream.  A bridge could thus be easily constructed which would give a marvelous view of the extremely steep stream below, cascading down flower covered (at least in spring) rocky outcrops,  The water fall is at the bottom of this stretch and is thus out of sight.  From here the trail could slope down to join Trail #35 somewhere in the upper bowl.

Another possible route would slope down gradually from the beginning to cross the First Branch just below the Water Fall.  The bridge would give a nice view.  The trail could stop here, where it joins the Water Fall Trail, or it could cross the very attractive meadow with lots of wildflowers and rejoin the Upper Bowl Road near the Scherer Bench.  This route is more difficult for trail building and probably less desirable.

This trail has been discussed from a year or two before I signed the new lease in 1996, since we knew its route would be incorporated in the Arboretum soon.  I am not sure that anyone else has looked at the area in detail.

Summary Remarks

With the exception of the last two, the 48 trails and 8 trail fragments listed above have all been precisely laid out.  They provide public access to essentially every feature, habitat, ecosystem and view within Mount Pisgah Arboretum, and sufficient (though not complete) access to the whole site for maintenance and safety.  By providing access, they protect the rest of the site from being degraded by off-trail hiking or other intrusion.  There are many more trail routes that I have worked out in my mind, some more than twenty years ago.  I have shared some of these with others, but much of my exploration has been solitary.  More than a dozen of these trails would clearly enhance the site in my estimation, but I do not consider any of them essential to full enjoyment of our marvelous site at present.  If Mount Pisgah Arboretum is to become “an arboretum of the highest quality” in the words of our statement of purpose, some more trails will eventually be desirable, but I will leave it to the next generation to plan them.

The unfinished trails I have listed here seem to me essential.  When I am no longer around to communicate the thousands of hours of planning and study I have devoted to these trails, I hope all my work will not simply be lost.

Connected Historical Remarks

When George Jette with his class and Howard Buford with the first CETA crews began work in the Arboretum there were several roads in various degrees of disrepair and no trails.  The road through the Great Meadow was in its present (2003) alignment dividing where the Vern Adkison Bench now sits to go east around the Water Garden to the quarry and to go west around the Water Garden to the South Meadow.  This road with its continuation to the quarry were in reasonably good shape but without any significant drainage through the Great Meadow.  The road into the South Meadow was in poor condition with substantial erosion near the river.  The outlet culvert from the Water Garden was quite small.  Similarly the culvert by the Caretaker Residence was inadequate to carry the Arboretum Entrance Creek flow at least every few years.  (The shop building which still spans the Arboretum Entrance Creek just west of the road was then a carport open on all four sides, but with its present roof.)

The upper and lower entrance roads were also in their present position with the upper one in reasonably good condition and the lower one in very poor condition. At its south end, the upper road angled sharply and steeply down hill to join the lower road in front of the Caretaker Residence.  Where this steep road angled down (approximately where it still does) a very well built but un-maintained, fenced-off road continued straight south past our present office building crossing the Arboretum  Entrance Creek on a 20 foot long, 20 inch diameter galvanized iron culvert and joining the Great Meadow Road where we still maintain a summer informal road.  The fire road to the summit (later renamed the Beistel Trail) was in about the same condition as it was until improved by the Bonneville Power Administration late in 2006.

Except for some then relatively recent Bonneville Power Administration roads, all the many other old roads were completely overgrown with trees and shrubs.  As we gradually identified these old roads we decided to clear and upgrade approximately half of them.  We worked to further the natural obliteration of a few others, but most were simply left alone.

The first Territorial Road south through the Willamette Valley went through the Arboretum site, but I have never been able to identify which of the many old road traces might be this historic road.  It was moved to its west side location, much farther from the river in only a few years.

I first saw the Arboretum site on May 27, 1974 although I had heard lots about it already.  A county employee lived in the house and the road through the Great Meadow was used regularly by those who grazed cattle all over the area.  Otherwise most of the area was a mess.   There was a beautiful old pioneer barn made with hand hewn oak beams just north of where the Pavilion now stands.  A 40 by 75 foot Quonset had been added to the south end in the fall of 1952, and that winter a 30 foot tall 13 foot diameter silo was added there and another (still existing) identical silo by the Great Meadow Barn.  In the entrance area two old sheds were partially collapsed and everything between them was filled with blackberries (Rubus armeniacus) and trash.  Twenty foot tall blackberries were supported by the trees along the Coast Fork, so that that river was not visible from anywhere in the Arboretum.  However the Great Meadow itself had only scattered patches of blackberries.  The Canyon Meadow was dominated by big patches and a very tall high voltage power pole stood in the middle.  That first day Laramie and our three small kids were with me, so it wasn’t until later that I explored the rest of the site.  I am not sure when Howard began working at the site, but I worked with him a number of times before I left for a sabbatical year in Berkeley in August, 1976.

George and particularly Howard achieved phenomenal improvements to the site in the less than three years.  George concentrated on his trail loop.  Howard (with service club help) cleaned up trash and blackberries in the entrance area.  With his CETA crews he then removed the collapsing buildings and the old barn (which he determined to be in unsafe condition), refurbished the practically collapsing small building we originally called the Arboretum Headquarters and later the Visitor Center, planned and built the picnic area, Howard’s Bridge for vehicles and pedestrians, two other foot bridges, and several trails in the immediate vicinity of the entrance.  After mid summer 1978 they both generally took a back seat.

On June 15, 1978 Howard had to go into the hospital to have surgery on his knees, so I somewhat reluctantly, at Fran Kemler’s forceful and effective urging, took over leadership of the CETA crew and responsibility for the whole site.  It was not until considerably later that I realized that Howard had never returned to the site because of the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.  George Jette had ceased working on the site before June, 1978.  I presume this was simply because he had finished the projects in which he was most interested.  However, it is also true that everyone associated with the Arboretum expected a large and substantial flow of donations and grants.  These did no occur, mostly due to a rapid collapse of the economy nationally and particularly in Oregon.  This meant that George’s most ambitious plans could not be undertaken.

Although I had come to Eugene in August 1970 (as an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oregon), with the determination to help found an arboretum, I was a rather peripheral member of the group until June, 1978. I had three small children and heavy responsibilities in research, teaching and administration which limited the time and energy I had available.  (However, when Fran Kemler incorporated the Arboretum in 1973, she needed a street address for the corporation and chose the address of my house.  Furthermore my experience as a mining engineer and prospector and in building things, did give me some influence on site.  Howard and I became immediate close friends.  My life long association with arboreta and personal study of their designs and operations, also gave me influence when I could attend meetings.  Finally I have never required much sleep and nearly everything I enjoy doing is usually considered work.)   From summer 1978 on, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, and particularly its physical site, became a chief activity of my life.

I would like to make one more personal comment.  I served as president in 1982 and the first half of 1983.  In 1983 I knew I would be leaving on sabbatical in midsummer and arranged with Vice-President (and former President) Dave Wagner to assume my duties on July 1.  However, when I returned in June 1984, my wife Laramie had been diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and an uncertain prognosis.  After surgery she underwent a full year of intensive chemo-therapy.  During this long period my responsibility for her and our three children, was much heavier than it had ever been before.  Work at the Arboretum was therapeutic for me, but I had to cut back a lot until fall of 1985.

I hope the detailed history of the trails already given tells all the rest of the story needed here.  My work for the Arboretum is certainly one of the greatest joys of my life.  I will continue as long as I am able.

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