Thursday, October 22, 2015

Jeffrey Loop - Illinois River - Little Falls Loop Trail

October 17, 2015

Back in February we hiked a group of trails south of Selma that included the Jeffrey Loop trail, Little Falls Loop trail and a connector trail that we called the Illinois River trail.  Although all 3 trails combined are under five miles total, it was still a nice new hike for us that allowed various access spots to the beautiful Illinois River.

First view of the low but beautiful Illinois river
Having enjoyed that hike, we ventured back to hike it again despite the forecast of clouds and rain.  For specific details on the hike in February or links for the area, click here.

Suffice to say, the river was very low on this Autumn hike but still beautiful.  By being at such a low level, the Little Falls were actually a waterfall instead of a roaring narrow chute of water as  it was in February.
Little Falls - actually visible as a waterfall in Autumn
Katie enjoyed a no-leash hike that included dips in the river and occasional bear scat on the trail, while we enjoyed stretching our legs and taking in all the beautiful views as well as taking a break along the river. Below are some more pictures for your viewing pleasure.  Get out and enjoy the season!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol

Panoramic view of the Illinois river from the trail

View upstream during our break along the Little Falls Loop trail segment

Katie after enjoying a dip and swim in the Illinois river

A Pitcairn cairn appears again along a trail we hiked

View of the upper portion of the Illinois River

Monday, October 5, 2015

Elk Creek Trail

October 3, 2015

If you live in the Southern Oregon area and want to get out and enjoy an Autumn hike but don't like going uphill and downhill or prefer paved trails over dirt and mud, then Elk Creek Trail is your type of trail. The Elk Creek Trail just came into being last year and is an old paved road that parallels Elk Creek.  Along the way you pass by various large meadows and groupings of trees.  We hiked here last Spring and in late Autumn last year, but had not made it back in 2015.  So we decided to spend part of a day enjoying the beautiful Autumn weather and seeing what improvements had been made to the area this past summer.

Perfect Autumn weather for a hike!
Before even reaching the trailhead we experienced the newly paved entrance road leading to the Yellow Rock TH. Also from the parking lot area we could see that they also replaced the cement road over an inlet stream at the start of the trail and replaced it with another nice wooden bridge for bikes and pedestrians.

The new bridge at the very beginning of the trail
The trail stretches 4.7 miles between trailheads which makes for an enjoyable 9.4 mile bike ride or allows you to hike along the road and choose your turnaround distance or time. There are a few side trails along the way that lead down to Elk Creek, providing views of the creek and allowing you to take breaks along your hike.

The first side trail view of Elk Creek

As we hiked along today we did see some Autumn color in the trees, but we would suspect that in another couple of weeks the colors will be much more prevalent.  The various meadows have changed over to their Autumn colors already and Elk Creek is very low due to the lack of rainfall and snow this year.
One of the large meadows along the Elk Creek trail

Those trees along the edge of the meadow are just starting to change into their Autumn attire.
We hiked out 3 miles today from the trailhead and then took a side trail down to Elk Creek for a break.

A panoramic view of Elk Creek where we took out break
It was so nice to enjoy the sunshine, blue sky, puffy white clouds and hear the breeze in the trees with the sound of the creek.  Made us almost want to stay there all day. Katie of course plunged into the creek and enjoyed getting wet.  That alone made her day!

How can Katie love jumping into a creek but not love baths??

Someone is having a good day!

Be sure to get out and enjoy this short colorful season of Autumn before it is gone.......take time to enjoy life!

Trekking Together
Glenn & Carol