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McClure Farm

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The farmhouse, McClure Farm (bobcat)
Bat maternity ward sign, McClure Farmhouse (bobcat)
Outbuildings, McClure Farm (bobcat)

Description

This homestead and attendant outbuildings lie north of the Old Gorge Highway 30 in the Memaloose Hills behind a farm gate marked “Do Not Block Gate.” Step over the fence to the left of the gate and walk down the farm road to a barn and outbuildings. You are now on the McClure Century Farm, which has become part of the public domain. Do not enter any of the buildings: the barn itself is closed to public entry and is a roosting site for mouse-eared bats. You can ascend the hill behind the outbuildings for views across the Columbia to Rocky Flat, Major Creek and Lyle, Washington. Then head west to the farmhouse. This building is boarded up and now serves as a maternity ward for Townsend’s big-eared bats. Walk up a road past a one-car garage and reach the fenced cemetery. No headstones are visible under the foliage, but here rest the mortal remains of William Carroll McClure (1817-1895) and his wife, Amelia Hunt Sullivan, who died a year after he did.

The McClures were Oregon Trail pioneers who came west from Missouri in the 1850s (They were originally from Kentucky) in what amounted to a family expedition: old James McClure, an 1812 War veteran, and his seven sons with their families. They settled first in Yamhill County, but some including James and William, moved to this acreage in the mid-1860s. Old James McClure died here in 1878 and is buried at the top of one of the hills in an unmarked grave. Six generations of McClures inhabited the house and its predecessors before the Townsend (bat) family took over. Near the cemetery, on the slope of an oak-shaded draw, are the remains of farm machinery and wagon parts.

If you are aiming for the McClure Farm via a loop from Lone Pine Hills, reach a pronounced gully west of the hills and cross it; then, follow the deer track above its west rim. This will take you down into an oak wood and then the Old Columbia Gorge Highway. Across the road is the farm gate.

To continue the loop from the McClure Farm back to the rest area, go west from the cemetery and cross the draw. Continue west across a field to Memaloose Creek. Cross the creek and continue about 40 yards to pick up a faint trail leading right down the slope past bluebird nesting box #2. Drop down the slope to a rocky arroyo and keep descending above a trickling waterfall. Reach an old jeep track and go right to descend into oak/poison oak woods. There’s a boggy patch and then you cross a rocky draw. The track is not always clear in this section. Pass through more open oak and ponderosa parkland. You may notice some faded flagging here. The trail passes through a fenceline and USFS boundary. Continue west: there’s an aspen grove to the right and an old stone farm fence up the slope to your left. Soon reach the pet exercise area and concrete paths of the Memaloose Rest Area.


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.