Area Attractions
ALLURING TREKS
Over 500 miles of trails located in National Forest lands zigzag through huckleberry fields, old growth groves, mountain peaks, enchanting waterfalls, and peaceful meadows. The famous Pacific Crest Trail; rich with history and scenic beauty, intersects numerous routes in the trail system.
As snow flakes over the mountains, challenging downhill, snowboard and cross country ski trails a wait the visitor. Whispers of silence fill the air as the skier and boarders enjoys breathtaking scenery and varied trail experiences that accommodate every skiing and snowboarding ability. Trails are clearly marked so skier, snowboarders and snowmobile enthusiasts will have their own unique experience.
Besides winter sports there are also many scenic drives in the area. One loop drive will take you to Hills Creek Reservoir along Forest Service Road 21, past Warner Mountain Fire Lookout, along the Diamond Peak Wilderness boundary and then back toward Oakridge. Pack a picnic lunch or return to town for a fine meal at one of the many restaurants. Check the map for other trips, or contact the Middle Fork Ranger District for more information.
SCENIC BYWAY

Aufderheide National Scenic Byway is one of the nation´s first 50 National Scenic Byways. It winds through the lush undergrowth of the majestic Willamette National Forest and meanders along the cold, clear water of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River and the Sound Fork of the McKenzie. As well as scenic vistas, the drive also provides opportunities to explore and understand the environment. National Forest management practices involving timber, recreation, water, and wildlife resources can also be seen on the drive. Kiahanie Campground is a beautiful place for a picnic stop beside the North Fork River.

An auto tape tour has been produced to help the visitor re-live the early logging and mining days of the Westfir and Blue River communities. It helps in understanding Forest Service management of water quality, wildlife, recreation, archeology, and timber along the Scenic Byway. A copy of the cassette tape tour can be borrowed (free of charge) from the Middle Fork RD office on Salmon Creek Road.

MIDDLE FORK TRAIL
The roar of the river will drown out the sound of your footsteps as you meander along the Middle Fork Trail. Old-growth stands of more than 350 years, some tree 6 feet in diameter, offer an opportunity to experience and enjoy the old-growth environment. The trail, 25 miles long and passing four campgrounds, parallels the river and offers access for some great fishing. Spring flowers and autumn leaves are spectacular along the route.

Chuckle Springs, located a short distance past Indigo Springs Campground, resembles a paradise. Well worth the trip is the lush green forest floor, and the open mature groves of Douglas-fir, western Red Cedar, western hemlock, and yew.

USFS Website

WESTFIR COVERED BRIDGE

The 180 foot bridge located in Westfir is the longest covered bridge in the state. It is called the Office Bridge as it linked the old lumber mill to the old office, now a bed and breakfast inn, located on the corner across from the bridge because it has a covered foot walk separate from the roadway of the bridge.
DIAMOND PEAK

Diamond Peak towers above Summit Lake at an elevation of 8744 feet. Odell, Summit, Waldo, and Crescent Lakes loom below the majestic peak. The Pacific Crest Trail can be taken from Summit Lake to the base of Diamond Peak where, after a fairly easy scramble, a climbers' trail will take you to the top. During the spring and early summer, snow climbers can be seen making their way to the crest.
SALT CREEK FALLS

Salt Creek Falls is Oregon´s second highest waterfall with 286 feet of cascading, tumbling energy. The popular viewing area is 20 miles southeast of Oakridge along Hwy 58. Facilities at the falls include flush toilets, trails, interpretive displays, falls overlook, picnic area, and a large parking lot -all wheelchair accessible. This facility is open all year.

The area is rich in geologic, historic, scenic, and recreational opportunities. Breath-taking cliffs provide awe-inspiring vistas. Trails access the top and bottom of Salt Creek Falls and then join other trails that will take the hiker to Too Much Bear Lake Creek Falls is an easy walk laced with numerous waterfalls.

OREGON CASCADE RECREATION AREA
The Oregon Cascades Recreation Area(OCRA) extends along the backbone of the Cascade Mountain Range and provides a variety of recreational experiences.

The popular Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail passes through the area and is accessible by a number of secondary trails. Summer recreational uses include hiking, horseback riding, fishing, and camping.

The Timpanogas Basin portion of the Oregon Cascades Recreation Area is non-wilderness and situated 45 miles southeast of Oakridge. During winter months, snowmobiling is a favorite on the many marked routes. This basin forms the headwaters of the Middles Fork of the Willamette River and offers excellent views of Diamond Peak, Sawtooth, and Cowhorn Mountains. There are two developed campgrounds: one is located at Timpanogas Lake, and the other is a primitive campground at Indigo Lake, which is a 1.9-mile hike from Timpanogas Lake. The basin offers 23 miles of hiking trails.

USFS Website

FIRE LOOKOUTS
Fire lookouts are still an important part of forest fire detection on the Willamette National Forest. Staff persons watch for fires, report on weather, relay messages, and perform more contemporary tasks such as monitoring air quality. Seeing a fire or smoke early and reporting it accurately is essential for immediate fire suppression.

Visitors are welcome at the lookouts, where views of magnificent mountain peaks and vast wilderness can be seen. Warner and Huckleberry mountains lookouts are accessible by vehicle. Waldo Mountain Lookout, located in the Waldo Lake Wilderness, is only accessible by trail. Why would anyone like to spend summers sitting on top of mountains? Those who staff these high pinnacles would enjoy sharing their reasons. Come on up!

USFS Website

LARISON COVE CANOE AREA

Larison Cove Canoe area is located on Forest Road 21 approximately 6 miles south of the community of Oakridge. Those loving solitude will enjoy the tranquility of the cove.

A boat ramp for non-motorized boats and a swimming area are situated on the south side of the cove. Four canoe-in picnic sites are available within 1/2 to 1 miles of the dock. Since these sites are isolated. Two picnic areas found on the north side of the cove are accessible by boat or trail.

A trailhead to Larison Creek is found on the north side of Larison Creek for approximately 6 miles.

ANGLER'S DELIGHT
Whether year around or just during the summer, the Oakridge/Westfir area can fulfill your fishing fantasies. Many lakes and four quality fishing streams await to thrill anglers with a fine catch of kokanee, rainbow trout, crappie, large mouth bass, or catfish. The North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette river and Gold Lake are open only to fly fishing. The section of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River running through Oakridge is a blue ribbon tail fishery. Ice fishing in the high lakes also challenges the avid enthusiast. All fishing requires a license available at local merchants. Regulation information is distributed with the license.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Site
WILLAMETTE PASS/ODELL LAKE/GOLD LAKE

Willamette Pass offers a variety of activities for winter sports enthusiasts. Cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing are available within a 45-minute drive from Oakridge. The ski area has 18 groomed runs, 4 chairlifts, a rope tow, and a beautiful lodge.

Marked cross-country ski trails and snowmobile trails are located on National Forest land. The Forest Service operates a cabin at Gold Lake Sno-Park where visitors can warm themselves and gather ski information. There are several shelters in the area managed by the Forest Service that may be used for picnics or overnight camping. A Park Permit is required to park in the parking areas along Highway 58. A large parking area is available at Gold Lake Sno-Park.

Odell Lake, just 2 miles from Willamette Pass, has two resorts. Both are open year around. Four campgrounds also add to the outdoor experience.

WALDO LAKE

Scooped out by ancient glaciers, Waldo Lake lies neat the crest of the Cascades at an elevation of 5,414 feet. About 33 miles east of Oakridge, Waldo Lake is one of the purest lakes in the world and the second largest lake in Oregon. Its crystal-clear and exceptionally blue waters cover more than 10 square miles with a maximum depth of 420 feet. You can see to the depths of 100 feet on a calm day

More than 200 developed camping units await visitors on Waldo´s east shore. All three campgrounds have flush toilet and concrete boat ramps. Two holding-tank disposal stations provide an added convenience for recreational vehicle users. There are approximately 170 miles of trails within the Waldo area, leading not only to an impressive array of lakes, but to giant conifer groves, mountain meadows, and volcanic peak summits. The Waldo Lake Trail, a 21-mile loop around Waldo Lake is used by hikers, horses, and mountain bikes. The trail offers access to the Waldo Lake Wilderness and to isolated beaches, coves, and meadows, found along the lake´s shores.

The lake is ideal for sailboating and canoeing.

WILD AND SCENIC RIVER

Fly fishing for native trout, spectacular scenery, interesting geology, and a wide diversity of plant life can all be found along the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. The river beings as a small outlet of Waldo Lake, high in the Cascades, then drops 2,400 feet in three miles while plunging over 34 separate waterfalls. The clear, cold water races down the river - dashing into shady coves and sunny spots. Swimming holes call out on a hot day along the lower section of the river. Kayakers are challenged as they venture through the swift currents from the gorge down into Westfir.

Because of these unique features, the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River has been recognized as a national treasure and designated by Congress as a Wild and Scenic River.

Willamette Fish Hatchery
Our fish hatchery is truely one of a kind. You can see thousands of fish at most hatcheries, but at ours you can see a live bird center and play mini golf. That's right our fish hatchery has a free covered mini golf course, instead of windmills and clowns to challange you, the obstacales on this course are those that face the salmon as they spawn. A fun time for all can be had here. Please make sure you stop by.
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