Mulkey Ridge – Fitton Green Loop (Corvallis) 03-12-17

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bobcat
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Mulkey Ridge – Fitton Green Loop (Corvallis) 03-12-17

Post by bobcat » March 13th, 2017, 6:37 pm

In September 2014, the Greenbelt Land Trust oversaw a trail extension on a newly acquired property that connects the trails in the Bald Hill-Mulkey Creek system with those at Fitton Green-Cardwell Hill.

I began at the crowded Oak Creek Trailhead on a slightly overcast day and took the route through Bald Hill Farm. The Land Trust has recently rerouted the trail here from farm roads to a path paralleling the gravel track. Views extended across the pastures, soon to be blooming with buttercups, to Bald Hill and back all the way to the Three Sisters.
On the Oak Creek Trail, Bald Hill Farm.jpg
Outbuildings, Bald Hill Farm.jpg
View to Three Sisters, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
Once at Mulkey Creek, I was much enamored of a recent cougar sighting sign but regrettably, in spite of diligent searching (with hackles up), I could not offer any confirmation. I took the trail up to the ridge crest and soon found myself at the new connector. This drops and undulates through an oak/Douglas-fir/grand fir woodland carpeted with invasive false brome grass. After two miles, it joins the Allen Throop Loop at Fitton Green.
Indian plum, Mulkey Creek.jpg
One can only hope  . . . , Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
Mossy maples, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
Fawn lily leaves, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
View to Bald Hill, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
Turkeytails, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
Old road bed, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
Junction, Allen Throop and Mulkey Ridge Trails.jpg
From here, I wound up the grassy slope, getting great views of Marys Peak capped by morning clouds. Once I reached the Panorama Trailhead, I took gravel rural roads (Panorama Drive and Wynoochee Drive) to complete a loop back to Mulkey Creek and then to the trailhead.
View to cloud-ensconced Marys Peak, Allen Throop Trail, Fitton Green.jpg
Seven trunks oak, Allen Throop Trail, Fitton Green.jpg

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retired jerry
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Re: Mulkey Ridge – Fitton Green Loop (Corvallis) 03-12-17

Post by retired jerry » March 14th, 2017, 5:33 am

I wouldn't mind meeting a bobcat, but a cougar... :)

I wonder if you're much more likely to get hurt by a cougar if one has been spotted fairly recently. I think they're all over but they usually don't let us see them.

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bobcat
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Re: Mulkey Ridge – Fitton Green Loop (Corvallis) 03-12-17

Post by bobcat » March 15th, 2017, 6:39 am

The only time I saw a cougar, it sort of silently pixelated away into the undergrowth when my dog barked at it. I don't think there's anything to be afraid of unless you're a small child walking alone or a trail jogger at twilight or dawn (might trigger a predator chase response).

There always seem to be cougar warning signs on the foothills side of Corvallis, in the McDonald-Dunn forests as well as the parks. Lots of deer there to keep the cougars happy. Unlike coyotes, they don't usually eat people's dogs and cats. There's a good article on page 7 of this newsletter: http://cf.forestry.oregonstate.edu/site ... letter.pdf

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buckwheat
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Re: Mulkey Ridge – Fitton Green Loop (Corvallis) 03-12-17

Post by buckwheat » March 15th, 2017, 3:38 pm

I spend about 8 hours a week in Corvallis' parks and forests, and have never seen a Cougar, or even a Bobcat, but I've felt spooked out at twilight when my meandernig runs later than expected. If I quit posting, I want you to blame a cougar just so I can at least posthumously claim I saw one.

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