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Miller Woods Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Cattails at Otter Pond, Miller Woods (bobcat)
Barn at Miller Woods (bobcat)
Turkeytails and carbon antlers, Miller Woods (bobcat)
Gate at Miller Woods (bobcat)
The Outer Loop at Miller Woods (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Miller Woods TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Berry Creek
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 4.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 515 feet
  • High Point: 600 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Description

The 130-acre Miller Woods Conservation Area was donated to the Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District by Frieda Miller in 2004. About 28% of the land is composed of pasture and hay fields, with the remainder shady secondary woodland and conifer plantations with a few old-growth Douglas-firs still standing. The park is now used by the McMinnville School District as an outdoor education site. A 2015 thinning project has opened up the understory in some of the more densely wooded sections and, in time, a more natural forest canopy will develop. The loop described essentially takes you around the perimeter of the property on the red-coded Outer Loop after an initial visit to Otter Pond: you will cross the large meadow and drop down to Berry Creek before ascending to a forested hilltop and then returning above the headwaters of a Berry Creek tributary. The trails are color-coded and there are numbered posts along the way. Note that dogs are not permitted, and there is a day-use fee.

Walk east out of the parking area under two large oaks with birdhouses, and come to the junction with the Outer Loop, marked in red and numbered all around the perimeter. Instead, head down across the pasture to the Otter Pond. Here, you can view the cattails, and then circle around the pond, keeping left at junctions, until you join the red-coded Outer Loop at Post #14. The trail works through a copse of oaks and then turns down the open pasture to pass a vegetable garden on the left. You can see a line of bluebird boxes ahead of you in the grassy expanse. At a junction in the field, turn south (right) and follow the trail as it parallels the forest edge before entering the woods (Post #13) at the southern boundary of the property. Enter a Douglas-fir plantation, and make several switchbacks down, passing through a stand of alders. Make a descending traverse in a carpet of Oregon grape and wild ginger. Next, switchback down twice to pass large western red-cedars above Berry Creek. Hike above the creek, and then switchback up twice. The trail proceeds along a slope above a fenceline. Cross two boardwalks in an open area, and pass a small pond fringed by sedges. Enter the forest again and switchback up four times at Berry Creek. Keep on the trail when you meet a road and make a traverse. Recross two branches of Berry Creek to pass through a fenceline and reenter the field at Post #11.

Keep right to reenter the forest and switchback several times up a wooded slope. Keep right at the junctions as the path continues to switchback up to a road (Post #9) that passes across the crest of this hill. The trail drops down the slope to recross the road. The Douglas-firs here compose a larger patch of old growth. Then the path swivels south as you pass through a 'Forest Diversity Study Site' (Post #7). As you drop, at the fifth switchback, you'll encounter an impressive old-growth Douglas-fir. Cross a small stream with a pond as the trail switchbacks up around the head of a forested bowl. Loop around a contour and traverse up the hillside to join Orchard View Road at the property boundary. At the junction with the Miller Woods entrance road, go left down the road until you see a trail marker on your right. Take the trail, switchback down, and then go left at the first connector to return to the parking area.

Once back here, you can visit the old barn. The spring that feeds Otter Pond is just south of the parking area.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • $3 per person day-use fee
  • Open dawn to dusk
  • No dogs permitted
  • Port-a-potties, picnic table, information kiosk

Maps

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Wild in the Willamette edited by Lorraine Anderson with Abby Phillips Metzger

More Links


Page 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.