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 Post subject: Mulkey Ridge – Fitton Green Loop (Corvallis) 03-12-17
 Post Posted: March 13th, 2017, 6:37 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
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Location: SW Portland
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.

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On the Oak Creek Trail, Bald Hill Farm.jpg
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Outbuildings, Bald Hill Farm.jpg
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View to Three Sisters, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
View to Three Sisters, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg [ 173.4 KiB | Viewed 827 times ]


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.

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Indian plum, Mulkey Creek.jpg
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One can only hope  . . . , Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
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Mossy maples, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
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Fawn lily leaves, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
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View to Bald Hill, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
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Turkeytails, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
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Old road bed, Mulkey Ridge Trail.jpg
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Junction, Allen Throop and Mulkey Ridge Trails.jpg
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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.

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View to cloud-ensconced Marys Peak, Allen Throop Trail, Fitton Green.jpg
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Seven trunks oak, Allen Throop Trail, Fitton Green.jpg
Seven trunks oak, Allen Throop Trail, Fitton Green.jpg [ 358.6 KiB | Viewed 827 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Mulkey Ridge – Fitton Green Loop (Corvallis) 03-12-17
 Post Posted: March 14th, 2017, 5:33 am 
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
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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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 Post subject: Re: Mulkey Ridge – Fitton Green Loop (Corvallis) 03-12-17
 Post Posted: March 15th, 2017, 6:39 am 
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Location: SW Portland
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/sites/cf/files/news_stories/2016%20Winter%20Newsletter.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Mulkey Ridge – Fitton Green Loop (Corvallis) 03-12-17
 Post Posted: March 15th, 2017, 3:38 pm 
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Joined: September 5th, 2016, 2:30 pm
Posts: 75
Location: Corvallis
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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