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Calloway Creek Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mossy yew, Calloway Creek Loop (bobcat)
Little buttercup (Ranunculus uncinatus), Calloway Creek Loop (bobcat)
Cronemiller Lake, McDonald State Forest (bobcat)
George W. Brown Sports Arena near Cronemiller Lake (bobcat)
The hike described traced in red (bobcat) Courtesy: McDonald State Forest
  • Start point: Peavy Arboretum TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Cronemiller Lake
  • Hike Type: Lollipop loop
  • Distance: 4.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 330 feet
  • High Point: 595 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No



A network of trails leads north from the Peavy Arboretum area through managed forest. You'll do part of the Intensive Management Loop, which illustrates, through interpretive signs, maximum use of timber resources. Then, the Calloway Creek Trail winds through some natural forest as well as plots of native and exotic trees. At Cronemiller Lake, you'll see the George W. Brown Sports Arena, where members of OSU's competitive logging sports team practice. After this, return down the Intensive Management Trail to parking.

Note that this system of trails can also be accessed via the Road 540 Trailhead.

The trail begins at the end of the parking lot. First, it is graveled and leads under big-leaf maples and alders and then through a planting of Willamette Valley ponderosa pines. After this, enter a plantation of Douglas-firs. The way becomes a wide, dirt track, slippery in wet conditions. Under the Douglas-firs are holly, sword fern, blackberries and young madrones. The trail descends and bends right, with Douglas-firs on the left and an open brushy area on the right. It enters the Douglas-fir woods, goes sharp right at an arrow (which is where you will close the loop on the way back) and then heads up to the Calloway Creek-Intensive Management Trail Junction.

Go right here on the Calloway Creek Trail. There are homes to the right as the trail descends on gravel under grand fir, Douglas-fir, big-leaf maple and some madrone. Unusually for the McDonald Forest, there is very little invasive false-brome grass in these pretty, mossy woods. A creek runs to the right. A sign tells about the Kalapuyans who used to forage here. The trail crosses a creek under alders and maples. Descend into a shallow gully and head up, ignoring a researchers’ trail to the left. Then drop into a young Douglas-fir plantation, clearcut in 1988 and planted in 1990. Keep descending, entering older Douglas-fir woods. An information sign points to the different genetic makeup of the trees. You can now see Highway 99 and the ponds across it. Pass an old, capped well from Camp Adair and cross the road leading in from the Road 540 Trailhead on Highway 99. Head up the slope of Hospital Hill past some Formosan Douglas-firs (Pseudotsuga wilsoniana) and grafted Douglas-firs planted in an attempt to achieve the perfect Christmas tree. Drop down through Douglas-fir, big-leaf maple, mossy yew, sword fern, ocean spray woods. The trail rolls gently up and down past a sawmill site and crosses a road (Ignore a trail to the left). Enter an oak forest, passing a very mossy old tree designated the Honeybee Oak. There's a lot more false-brome here. Then go through a small clearing with a lone apple tree. The forest becomes mixed oak, Douglas-fir, grand fir, and big-leaf maple with honeysuckle, sword fern and cascara. Cross Calloway Creek on a footbridge under mossy big-leaf maples and head up a slope under larger grand firs and Douglas-firs.

Come to the Calloway Creek-Cronemiller Lake Trail Junction, which points the direction to Cronemiller Lake on the right. Ascend around the hill to a road, where you will see the lake. Going right on the road, there’s the “sports arena” for the O.S.U. logging team. Return down the trail and go right on the Calloway Creek Trail. Pass through a fence and then a plantation of Douglas-fir to a junction, where you go right and uphill on the Intensive Management Trail. Cross a road and then another one and descend in a Douglas-fir plantation. Cross another road and pass through more Douglas-firs, coming to a junction to go right for the Peavy Arboretum Trailhead.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Open dawn to dusk
  • Information kiosk at trailhead
  • Port-a-potty
  • Dogs on leash
  • Share trails with mountain bikers
  • Interpretive signs
  • Active research area: stay on the trails


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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.