New Additions To The Forest Park
Jacksonville Oregon offers all kinds of hiking – and Forest Park is getting better and better! There is a new bridge across Jackson Creek at the end of the Rail Trail which takes the hiker over the creek and onto the shady, easy-walking Norling Creek Trail. Then a short walk on the Norling Creek Trail takes you right to the lower trail head of the Canyon Falls Trail. While hiking the Rail Trail, you will see the latest structure, a replica of the historic Bullis Railroad trestle on the Rail Trail. Built with big logs just like they did 100 years ago, the 30-foot trestle section shows how the pioneers built this railroad to bring logs out of the Jackson Creek canyons. While the original trestle spanned the entire 75-foot gully, the replica demonstrates the use of logs on site to build the supports and even the use of round logs for the railroad ties. Pictures taken of the train wreck taken in 1917 were used to guide the construction.
It is a great time to escape the heat in the valley by taking that early morning hike in the Forest Park. The park’s trails offer shade, especially on the Canyon Falls Trail which meanders up the bottom of Jackson Creek and Norling Creeks canyons. These trails climb at a moderate rate close along the creek bottoms, but getting shade from the steep hillsides provides a temperature that is 10-15 degrees cooler than other less sheltered trails.
From the top of the Canyon Falls Trail, strike out across the hillsides on the Canyon Vista trail, whose tall madrones, pines, and firs provide shade while enjoying wonderful views of the canyons below on a very level trail! And for the more adventurous hiker, go up the Naversen Family Trail to the trail head of the Granite Trail, then up the Halls of Manzanita section and out the Granite Trail, with its great canyon views. Continue down the rest of the Granite Trail and check out the Golden Water Cave, which is the old underground gold mine. Happy hiking, everyone!