PIg Iron Trail - September 24, 2016
Coordinator Lane Harris, narration by Lois Soulia and pictures to come

Saturday morning 9 Friends of the Umpqua carpooled up the North Umpqua Highway and turned off south at the second exit to Toketee. We traveled along a series of gravel roads until we came to a canal which feeds water to the Toketee Generator Plant. The sides of the canal were rather steep and the water was flowing at a swift rate. Warning signs were posted telling people not to enter the canal.

We parked near the canal and after a briefing by Lane Harris our hike leader we started up the hill for Pig Iron Mountain look out. Lane had pre-hiked the trail and set out flags and markers so we wouldn't get lost. This was a new hike for the club but the third time Lane had been there. He did an excellent job guiding us as part of the trail were nothing more than seldom used deer and elk trails. The hike was listed difficult. The only difficult parts were when the trail traversed across open land and the trail was not level. One slip and a hiker could end up sliding 20 or more feet down the hill side before he or she could get stopped.

It took us 2 hours and 20 minutes to hike up to the ranger station and only about 1 hour and 45 minutes to return back down the hill. About 25 minutes short of the ranger's station we encountered a gravel road which lead right to the look out.  We ate our lunch on a rocky overlook just beyond the look out which was manned (womanned) by a young lady who normally worked at the Ilahee lookout which is currently being renovated. Pig Iron is a secondary lookout. With glasses one was able to locate one or two other lookouts from Pig Iron Mountain. The view was excellent. If anyone believes we are clear cutting all of our Oregon Forests they just need to go there to see the thousands of acres of heavily forested hill sides. We could identify numerous area which had been previously logged and are now covered with second growth trees.

The Pig Iron Lookout is quite modern compared to what existed back in the 1930's. This one not only had a porta potty but also butane gas tanks and a generator. And a road right to the front door (ladder).

Hats off to Lane for an excellent hike to a beautiful area and our thanks for marking the trail so well.

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Roseburg Oregon Hiking Club
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