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Bald Hill Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View to Marys Peak, Bald Hill Natural Area (bobcat)
Tolmie's mariposa (Calochortus tolmiei) and flower spider, Bald Hill (bobcat)
The barn at Bald Hill (bobcat)
Big madrones, Bald Hill Natural Area (bobcat)
The loop at Bald Hill, Corvallis (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Oak Creek Trailhead (Bald Hill)Road.JPG
  • End Point: Bald Hill
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 3.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 440 feet
  • High Point: 755 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes, on weekends



Bald Hill is a 755-foot prominence in the bucolic southwestern outskirts of Corvallis where oak woods rub against cattle pastures. The acreage here was purchased by the Greenbelt Land Trust in 1990 and turned over to the City of Corvallis in 1993. In 2013, the Land Trust bought the neighboring Bald Hill Farm, and a trail connector was established between the Bald Hill area and Fitton Green via Mulkey Ridge. A network of trails weaves over and around Bald Hill itself, including a paved bike trail that follows its eastern edge. Views from the summit extend west to Marys Peak in the Coast Range and, in spring, wildflowers such as camas, hawthorn, columbine, Nootka rose, and Tolmie's mariposa are in full bloom. Keep to the trails, however: the poison oak is dense and ubiquitous.

Cross Oak Creek on a footbridge and turn right at an information kiosk. The trail along Oak Creek passes along the fenced pastures of Bald Hill Farm. Walk over a footbridge with the creek to your right and a fenced meadow dotted with oak and ash trees to your left. Before you reach a green gate at a gravel farm road, go left on a trail that runs along next to the road between fences. In the spring look for great camas and buttercup blooms here. Reach the Mulkey Ridge-County Connector Trail Junction and go left (The Mulkey Ridge Trail extends about 2 1/2 miles to Fitton Green and thence to Cardwell Hill Road (See the Cardwell Hill-Fitton Green Hike).

A wide, straight path leads along a large field blooming with buttercups in spring and enters a dense oak/ash swale. Cross several footbridges, including one over Mulkey Creek, and reach a junction with a map of Bald Hill area trails. Go right here on the Oak Savanna Trail (The off-leash dog area is to your left). The trail rises through open meadows shaded by twisted gnarly oaks dripping with mistletoe and lichen. Poison oak is all around. Turn uphill at a sign acknowledging a land purchase by the Greenbelt Land Trust and reach a junction. Keep right here and head uphill on the West Summit Trail in a brilliant green tunnel of hazel, maple, and snowberry. Switchback once to the grassy summit area, where you go left at a bench. Look west here for a spectacular view across the Marys River valley to Marys Peak. Poke around for fine-leaf desert-parsley and Tolmie’s mariposa lilies blooming in the grass in spring. When you reach the summit of Bald Hill, there’s a bench looking south across the Marys River and Muddy Creek drainages to farmlands in the Bellfountain area.

Head down to the left from here on a wide muddy track (Summit Road). At a four-way junction, go left on the drier North Summit Trail, and keep right at the next junction. The trail drops through a snowberry understory in mixed forest. Reach a small grove of massive ancient madrones and stop to admire them. Come to a junction near the Bald Hill Barn and go right down the hill to the paved multi-use path that runs along the east side of Bald Hill. There’s a port-a-potty at this junction. Go left on the paved trail and walk along the edge of a field with an oak/ash swale to your left. Camas bloom all along here in the spring. In no time, you will reach Oak Creek and the trailhead.

Bald Hill can also be accessed from the county fairgrounds at the Midge Cramer Trailhead. This paved path connects with the East Summit Trail, which switchbacks several times to the top of the hill.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Open 6:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  • Dogs on leash
  • Keep to trails in easement areas
  • No bikes or horses on unpaved trails between October 31st and April 15th


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Corvallis Trails by Margie C. Powell
  • A Guide to Trails in the Corvallis Area by Phillip R. Hays
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Wild in the Willamette edited by Lorraine Anderson with Abby Phillips Metzler
  • Off-Street Paved Bike Paths in Oregon by Rick Bronson

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.