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Beazell Memorial Forest Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The Plunkett Creek bridge (cfm)
Dicentra formosa aka Bleeding heart (cfm)
Plunkett Creek, Beazell Memorial Forest (bobcat)
Siskiyou false hellebore (Veratrum insolitum), Beazell Memorial Forest (bobcat)
  • Start point: Beazell Forest TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: South Meadow
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Double loop
  • Distance: 3.9 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 885 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable:No
  • Crowded: No
Poison Oak

Contents

Hike Description

Hike up a lovely stream with canopy views of this classic coast range forest in Benton County's newest and largest park. It is a self-sustaining managed conservation forest, which will be occasionally thinned or logged to provide proceeds for park maintenance. Trails are open to hikers, bikers and horses year round. Two loops, as well as other variations, are possible. The first uses the South Loop, South Ridge, and Plunkett Creek Trails. The second and shorter loop, the Bird Loop, heads through oak-rimmed meadows with a view of Marys Peak. At the trailhead stands the Plunkett House, an 1875 farm house originally built with no indoor plumbing: the outhouse was built over a ditch diverting from the creek.

A lovely old oak shades some picnic tables. Head up to a barn and take the trail leading right up into the woods. A staircase leads to an old cistern. Go right at the junction with the South Loop Trail and head up in secondary Douglas-fir woods. Meet an old road bed and head up this, keeping right at the loop junction. The road bed is rather muddy in places. The woods are cool and dominated by leafy big-leaf maples. Enter a dense Douglas-fir plantation and then come out at the South Meadow spilling down the hillside. At a trail junction here, go right on the South Ridge Trail. This takes you across the South Meadow, blooming with ox-eye daisy, self-heal, and hairy cat’s-ear in the spring. In late May-June, the meadow is filled with wild strawberries. Enter woods and loop around to the left on the road in a Douglas-fir plantation. At the ridge-crest, where there are some oaks and grand fir, come to a junction. The South Ridge Trail continues down the hill to the right.

Make two switchbacks down and come close to the edge of an old clearcut. Then swing back into the woods and make eleven switchbacks down into lush maple woods. There are four more switchbacks before you enter lush streamside woods and cross a footbridge over a creek. Here there are red alder, Pacific waterleaf, and wood fern. Spring brings the best wildflower viewing here, with meadowrue, bleeding heart, poison larkspur and three different trillium species in the understory. A few rare but spectacular Siskiyou false hellebore also grow here. The trail winds over to Plunkett Creek and reaches the junction with the upper end of the Plunkett Creek Loop. We go left here and cross a footbridge under alders. We head down the creek noting the moss-draped yews. There’s the carcass of an old car down here, too. The trail crosses Plunkett Creek on a footbridge and meets an old road bed at the lower end of the loop. Drop down past a gazebo and meet the large footbridge crossing the creek to the picnic area.

Continue straight to do the Bird Loop. Pass through a small meadow and cross a road. There are bird lists in a brochure case you can refer to on the walk. Enter a meadow rimmed by oaks, ash, and Douglas-fir. Cross a footbridge over a creek and reach the loop junction. Go left into Douglas-fir woods. There’s a gazebo to the right. Enter a meadow with some shapely oaks. The trail then heads into a Douglas-fir plantation where poison oak grows in clumps. A bench in a meadow gives a view of Marys Peak. Get to another small meadow then walk down through a cedar/Douglas-fir plantation with a creek on your left. In an oak meadow, close the loop and head back to the trailhead.

Maps

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Oregon Favorites: Trails and Tales by William L. Sullivan
  • Corvallis Trails by Margie C.Powell
  • Wild in the Willamette edited by Lorraine Anderson with Abby Phillips Metzger

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Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.