South Slough Nature Trail and Tunnel to the Sea - August 1, 2015
Coordinator Edwin Case, narration by Lois Soulia and pictures by Richard O'Neill
Saturday, August 1, 2015, nine hikers met at the usual place. Three more hikers rendezvoused on the coast at the South Slough Reserve, making a group whose ages ranged from seven years old to eighty-two. It was good to hike with Rachel again. Richard brought his delightful and adventurous grandchildren, seven year old Coral and stalwart eleven year old Aiden. Good additions for any hike.
Edwin had scouted out the best way to start the exploration of the Reserve. The hike started at the Hinch Road trailhead which leads to the Wasson Creek and Fredrickson House trails. Those trails interconnect and lead around the forests and marshes of the area and to an abandoned homestead complete with an old orchard, barn and a house that has a wonderful view of the marsh. One can imagine the inhabitants watching deer, elk, beaver and who knows what from the windows.
After following the loops, the group returned to their cars and drove to the Reserve’s Interpretive Center and the trails which start from there, North Creek Trail, Middle Creek Trail, Hidden Creek Trail (which has the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk), Railroad Trail which follows an old railroad route and Big Cedar trail. These trails loop around and connect and rack up almost 6 miles. Of great interest to the kayakers in the group was the view of a passage way to the Sloughside Marsh from the Sloughside trail which is a kind of peninsula to that area which looks to be navigable.
All in all, the trail systems throughout make the Slough a very interesting hike. But wait, there is more. Edwin led his group through Charleston to a World War II tunnel which goes to the ocean and a hidden beach after a strenuous climb down a very steep cliff. The beach itself is accessed by a rope rappel which half the hikers, including the youngsters did. Climbing down was scarier than climbing back up. Wild animal encounters were: Edwin and Aiden being stung by yellow jackets. Aiden was stung twice and was very brave and Edwin, too was brave, after being stung he took care to warn others of the danger. It was another good, exciting hike from Edwin. Thanks.
Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club