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Whistle Punk Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

(Redirected from Whistle Punk Trail Hike)
Many logging artifacts are encountered on the trail, including this smoke stack with a spark arrestor (cfm)
A steam donkey sled rotting in the forest, Whistle Punk Trail (bobcat)
Same-age Douglas-fir woods on the Whistle Punk Trail (bobcat)
Oregon anemone (Anemone oregana) (cfm)
The Whistle Punk Loop in green (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo

Contents

Hike Description

I won't give it away - come find out for yourself what a whistle punk is. You will learn many more logging lore tidbits as you ramble along on this interpretive hike that pays tribute to a bygone era. This pleasant loop makes a wonderful outdoor museum, passing through several forest biomes and rusting displays of logging artifacts. The trail tread is graveled and wide and suitable for most wheelchairs.

There's a kiosk with a map at the trailhead that gives you the lay of the land. Take note of the rusting gear and timber carrier behind the kiosk. Once on the trail, head right at the first junction to make a counterclockwise loop. You will pass through a shallow swamp of moss and lichen draped Oregon ash, while Bunker Hill looms behind. Then the trail enters a maturing Douglas-fir forest with the logging camp displays. (Look behind the whistle punk interpretive sign for a steam donkey sled disguised by a cloak of moss.) There are several more interpretive signs and artifacts on display. The trail then proceeds through a forest of same-age Douglas-fir with a vine maple understory. At the far point of the loop is a wooden observation deck which looks out over a wetland grown up with alder, spiraea, and willow.

Continuing on the loop, hike a long footbridge over the wetland and reach an old road bed, where you should go left. Pass through a fence near the site of the Wind River Canopy Crane, which was taken down in 2011. (This tall crane rotated 360 degrees, covering a six-acre swath of the canopy, and was used for conducting research on the biota that live in the high treetops of the western forest.) The road soon ends at a gate, and you will enter a huge meadow bordered by plantings of ponderosa pines. If this meadow seems odd or unnatural, it is. This is the former site of the Wind River Tree Farm, where forest seedlings were once started for eventual replanting in logged and burned areas. The high fences were placed to keep deer and elk from cropping the young seedlings. The fence is now breeched in many spots, and baby trees are no longer grown here. Now it is just a beautiful setting to spot browsing elk.

You'll pass through another opening in the fence and return to the forest, where salal, red huckleberry, Oregon grape, and bracken verge the path. Bunker Hill again comes into view as you reach the ash swamp and finish the loop.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Wind River, WA #397
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Adams Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams

Regulations, Facilities, etc.

  • Northwest Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) required
  • Restrooms, picnic table
  • $2 toll each way at the Bridge of the Gods

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks

  • Columbia Gorge Getaways by Laura O. Foster
  • Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge by Craig Romano
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancoouver by Douglas Lorain
  • Hiking Washington's Mount Adams Country by Fred Barstad
  • 95 Virtual Hikes of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument by Northwest Hiker

More Links


Contributors

  • cfm (creator)
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.