Beaver Swamp Trailhead to Fish Lake and Cliff Lake - July 20, 2013
Coordinator Edwin Case, narration by Lois Soulia and pictures by Gary Waugaman

Eight brave souls met to go hiking during one of Roseburg’s hottest summer spells and divided into carloads depending on where each person was going to hike: The choices were: a 7.9 hike that ended up at the Fish Lake Trailhead, and the other hike continued to Cliff and Buckeye lakes ending back at the Beaver Swamp Trailhead, a 9 + mile hike.

This hike had a nice beginning, mostly downhill for the first 3.5 miles and continued past the sparkling and quite large Fish Lake to a lovely spot for lunch that Edwin selected, complete with a waterfall and rushing creek. Before the second group arrived, the long distance hikers had pushed on. After their lunch, the shorter-distance group prepared to go back after entertaining a frog for lunch. See picture.

The faster-longer hikers had some long miles of trudging up and down but they enjoyed the views of the lakes, Buckeye and Cliff. Edwin found a spring which was fortunate because some hikers needed more water than anticipated. They met Craig who had come in from the Skimmerhorn trail-head. Then they turned around for the long journey home.

Meanwhile the “short distance” hikers had turned back, envying the people along the lake who were swimming. It was getting hotter, reaching the high 90s. The Beaver Swamp trail where the car was parked is somewhat longer than they expected, about 4 miles. The heat made electrolytes really necessary for some. Beaver Swamp is a truly impressive and extensive swamp with beaver lodges and flocks of ducks paddling through the duckweed. Seeing it is worth the hike. The short distance hikers racked up an 8.4 mile hike. Only the lord and Edwin know what the “long” hikers did.

Fish Lake is a very busy place but not as busy as the South Umpqua Falls area as the group found when they stopped to look at it. There wasn’t even room to park to get a view of the falls. The whole area is a huge tent city with cars parked along the side of the road for miles. The high lakes, are, by contrast, lovely and quiet and worth a hike.


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