Mount Pisgah - April 5, 2008
Coordinator Jane Flewelling, narration and pictures by Diane Rannow
It’s a drippy, dreary day as 8 of us head toward Eugene and Mt. Pisgah. We plan to hike from the eastern entrance located off Ridgeway Road out of Pleasant Hill. From the many different trail choices on this side, we take Trail #2 - Beistel’s East Summit Trail. After crossing 0.3 miles of wetland, we climb 2.1 miles up the east ridge of Mount Pisgah passing through prairie and oak woodland. There are a few buttercups, fawn lilies and hounds tongue blooming in the woods and meadows. Near the summit, at a trail junction with Trail #6, we make a short side trip to where a bronze sighting pedestal is located. It identifies mountains and other landmarks visible on a clear day. Bas reliefs on the pedestal’s pillars depict more than 300 Oregon fossils. The wind and rain are worse here in the open and no one wants to linger.
Leaving the summit, we head down trail #1 - Beistel’s West Summit Trail toward the arboretum. Most of this trail looks off across open hillsides. Thankfully, we were able to have lunch in a building with picnic tables out of the rain. Nettie met us with cupcakes to celebrate Allan’s birthday.
After lunch, we don our rain gear again and wander along the Tom McCall Riverbank Trail where masses of fawn lilies are blooming. Along Meadow Road to Quarry Road, then a short loop on the Water Garden Trail and we leave the arboretum. We’re taking Trail #5 - Quarry Road Trail back.
None of us had pre hiked this part of our loop. The trail description is a fairly level trail with views of open meadow and mixed hardwood riparian forest with lush understory along an old river channel. We figured it would be wet in places, but weren’t prepared for mud, mud, mud!!! We figure we picked our way from one boggy patch to another for more than a mile. When we could look up from where to put our feet, we could see areas in the woods full of fawn lilies and giant whitewakerobins. Only a couple of camas were blooming. Eventually we curved farther away from the river bottom onto higher ground. Another mile or so along parts of Trail #3 and Trail #2 and we were back to the cars. In spite of wet muddy boots and pant legs, we’ve had a wonderful day... a hike of about 6 miles.
Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club