Mildred Knipe Park - February 20, 2010
Coordinator Ray Jensen, narration and pictures by Ray Jensen

15 souls started on this “day in the park” hike. It was cold and foggy when we started and everyone was bundled. We first hiked the ½ mile Nature Trail to show everyone the new trail established by volunteers (some from FOU). It is a barked path with over 150 native plantings (Cedar, Madrone, Ponderosa Pine, Nine Bark, Snow Berries, Lupine, Myrtle, Cascara, and many others). In years to come this should become a gem that families can enjoy.

From the picnic area we then hiked across the creek, by the pond, and up the road to the Bachelor Creek Bridge. This is a sort of intersection from which you can hike several well marked and named trails thanks to Friends of Mildred Kanipe Park. We hiked up and up the so named Mildred’s Forest Trail for about a 1 ½ mile loop. It is a very shaded conifer forest with lots of ferns – quite a contrast with the Oak woodland below. It is also very wet and muddy coming down the far side thanks to the cows and horses that apparently use this trail a lot. I mean very muddy!

Back at the bridge some returned to the cars or went their own way and 10 of us continued on by going part way up Underwood Hill, crossing Bachelor Crk. on some logs (luckily) (I didn’t know there wasn’t any bridge), and joined up with the Fern Woods Tr. We continued climbing into a fantastic fern covered conifer understory and eventually came out near the top of the Oak Savannah Trail. This was the best section of the hike by far and by this time the fog was burning off and it had warmed considerably. It wasn’t even noon yet so we decided to continue down the hill to the road next to the creek and go back to the picnic area to enjoy lunch. It was quiet, peaceful, and warm enough to eat an enjoyable lunch at tables no less! It was a very sociable group. We were back in Roseburg by early afternoon for the earliest I can ever remember getting back.

I figure we hiked about 6 miles with several hundred feet elevation gain. 10 hikers completed the whole circuit. A nice relaxed hike very close to home was a pleasant change for all.

Ray, Jane, Lois, Craig, Gary, Nancy, John, George, Larry and wife, Bill, Barbara T., and several new or nonmembers.

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