A loop around Stub Stewart

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bobcat
Posts: 1916
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

A loop around Stub Stewart

Post by bobcat » May 7th, 2014, 6:23 pm

I completed the weekend’s obligations by late morning on Sunday and, on a whim, motored out to L.L. “Stub” Stewart State Park in the Coast Range foothills of Washington County. I have been here before in the winter and summer months and have never been much impressed by the park as a hiker's venue, but the lush verdancy of spring overcame me and I trolled along on a westside loop of the park delighting in the forest blooms, the solitude (I only encountered a couple of mountain bikers) and the sucking mud.

A trail map can be accessed through the state park website, but brochures are readily available in the park itself. Most trails can also be used by mountain bikers and horses.

All hikers are supposed to begin at the Hilltop Day-use Area, and so I headed south on the Hare’s Canyon Trail, really a service road for most of its length, to Widow Maker Way and then Brooke Creek to take in the empty hike-in camp. From there, it was back down Hare’s Canyon to cross the paved Banks-Vernonia Trail to take an old railroad grade on the Williams Creek Trail and admire some relics before descending to Williams Creek itself. In the day’s drizzle, this bottomland was damp and muddy and the track overgrown with long grass. This must have been where I picked up a couple of ticks, one of which I only discovered . . . yesterday . . . crawling about on my wife’s side of the bed . . . just don’t tell . . .
Along Widow Maker Way, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Fire circle and restroom, Hike-in campground, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Crossing sign, Williams Creek Trail, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Old railroad ties, Williams Creek Trail, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Youth-on-age (Tolmiea menziesii), Williams Creek, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Williams Creek, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Oregon forestsnail (Allogona townsendiana) having a drink, Williams Creek, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
I recrossed Banks-Vernonia, and headed up to Caddywhomper Viewpoint, now less of a viewpoint as the trees have grown up. Then it was back down to the B-V Trail to take another spur on Felling’s Wedge to the southern point of the mountain biker area where hikers are not allowed.
Railroad crossing sign, Banks Vernonia-Williams Creek Trail Junction, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Leafy-stem mitrewort (Mitella caulescens), Felling's Wedge Trail, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Carpet of Starry solomon-plume (Maianthemum stellatum), Hare's Canyon, Stub Stewart State Park .jpg
I went back up Hare’s Canyon, noticing a plethora of snails in all kinds of compromising positions. These sightings compensated for the disappointing lack of cougars and bears , which park brochures would have you believe are lurking around every corner. I made the Unfit Settlement View loop to the highest point in the park, the trail named after a 19th century surveyor’s assessment of homesteading potential in the area. I ended up on the Boomscooter Trail, but found its middle section closed because of trail reconstruction and decided to call it a day and head back to the car.
Unfit Settlement View, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Fairy lanterns (Prosartes smithii), Unfit Settlement View Trail, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Red flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), Unfit Settlement View Trail, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Woods strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Unfit Settlement View Trail, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Oregon forestsnail (Allogona townsendiana) grazing on moss, Hare's Canyon Trail, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Young doe, Skidder Row Loop, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
Boomscooter Trail, Stub Stewart State Park.jpg
This loop was about 11 miles. It seemed like an ideal day to go: few visitors, muddy trails, a couple of bloodsucking arachnids, a bountiful mollusk population, forest floor wildflowers at their peak – what more could one ask?

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miah66
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Re: A loop around Stub Stewart

Post by miah66 » May 8th, 2014, 11:53 am

This will make a nice hike in the upcoming winter! Thanks for the info! Has it been added to the field guide?
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bobcat
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Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: A loop around Stub Stewart

Post by bobcat » May 9th, 2014, 10:22 am

@miah: There are trail brochures at various places in the park. That's all you need to get around and they have rerouted some trails since I first went there. The loop I did could be extended, when all the trails are open, to about 13 miles, but then you could add another 4 1/2 miles down the Bumping Knots lollipop loop on the west side of Williams Creek. Winter is a bit of a dreary time to go, but you have a better chance of seeing elk then and there will be very few visitors.

As for the Field Guide, well, it's on the list . . . .

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