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Peavy Arboretum Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Incense cedars, Woodland Trail (bobcat)
Sign Shop, Peavy Arboretum (bobcat)
Oregon flag (Iris tenax), Discovery Loop (bobcat)
Stream crossing, Discovery Loop, McDonald State Forest (bobcat)
Tolmie's mariposa lily (Calochortus tolmiei), Discovery Loop (bobcat)
The loops described traced in yellow (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo
  • Start point: Peavy Arboretum TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Woodland Loop Trailhead
  • Hike Type: Short connected loops
  • Distance: 3.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 190 feet
  • High Point: 445 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No



The three short loop hikes described here are all in the Peavy Arboretum area of the McDonald State Forest. The area began as a nursery for Oregon State University’s School of Forestry. From 1933 – 1942, a Civilian Conservation Corps camp operated here, and the arboretum reverted to OSU jurisdiction. Native and non-native species were relabeled in 2011. The arboretum is named after George Peavy, a former Dean of the School of Forestry at OSU.

Take the Firefighter Memorial Trail that begins next to the information kiosk, which has a large map of the Peavy Arboretum area (In addition, the Intensive Management Trail – see the Calloway Creek Loop Hike – begins at the west end of the parking area). Native trees, such as Oregon ash and Oregon white oak, are labeled in the riparian area along the small stream that runs here. The Sign Shop (1936), where wooden signs used by state forests are made, is the large barn-like structure across the sward. The wide gravel trail takes you up to a covered picnic area and the Firefighter’s Memorial. The plaque here commemorates the nine Oregon firefighters who died in the South Canyon Fire, Glenwood Springs, Colorado, on July 6th, 1994. Enter an oak woodland and cross a stream on a footbridge. Reach a junction at a grove of redwoods and sequoias, and go left to cross a paved road near the Forestry Club Cabin Trailhead. Reach a four-way junction and keep straight on the Sequoia Trail to begin the loop to Randall Pond.

At the next junction go left, and come to another four-way junction at a Port Orford cedar. Keep straight here on the Fir Hollow Trail. Pass plantings of Greek and Cicilian firs, and reach the trail that circles Randall Pond. Go right and cross the outlet stream. An interpretive sign explains the fish ladder here. The Peavy Lodge (1948) is up the slope to your right. Walk the rim of the alder-shaded pond, and go right at the junction on the east shore of the pond. You’ll see the Sign Shop up to your right before you turn right at the next junction. Pass a tanoak on your right as you walk up to a paved road. Go about 30 yards along the road and then turn left. At the four-way junction under the sequoias, keep straight this time and cross the gravel road below the Forestry Club Cabin Trailhead.

Keep left and then right to begin the Forest Discovery Trail. Head up on a gravel track into young woods of Douglas-fir, hazel and maples. Poison oak abounds in the understory here. Cross a road and keep rising. In spring, admire the Oregon flag irises and Tolmie’s mariposa lilies blooming on the trail verges. The trail swings to the left; then, keep left as two trails head off to the right: the tie trail to the Section 36 Trail (see the Section 36-Powder House Loop Hike) and the CFIRP Trail. Drop into woods with a grassy understory of invasive false-brome. Cross a footbridge over a creek, and pass tall grand firs as well as cedars and Oregon ash. The trail drops again and crosses a road. Resume the path on an old road bed. A spur left heads to a creek and abandoned road. Cross a creek and reach the junction with the Maritime Meander Trail.

Go right here to enter a grassy area planted with sequoias, maples, oaks, Willamette ponderosas and Douglas-firs. The next junction, where you go right again, is at a maritime pine. Continue past more pine tree and reach the gravel road. Go right and, past a Lombardy poplar, take a right onto Redcedar Run. This chip trail takes you past cherries, plums and a row of western red-cedars. Reach the Peavy Arboretum entrance on Arboretum Road. Go left and then right at the junction. About 80 yards up the road and opposite the Peavy Lodge, go right up the steps to the Woodland Loop Trailhead and begin the Woodland Trail, a 0.4 mile interpretive loop.

Take the loop counterclockwise and look for sessile trilliums in early spring and irises, calypso orchids, and candy flower in mid-spring. Beware of poison oak in the understory. Pass a Lebanon cedar and then rows of incense cedar. Turn uphill in native Douglas-fir/big-leaf maple forest and make two looping bends before descending. A spur to the right leads to a pull-up exercise bar! The trail makes a sharp left at a bench and traverses the slope. Pass some larger Douglas-firs and then drop to the Woodland Loop Trailhead. Go right on the entrance road and walk back to your vehicle at the Peavy Arboretum Trailhead.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Open dawn to dusk
  • Information kiosk at trailhead
  • Port-a-potty
  • Dogs on leash
  • Identification labels for trees


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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.

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