Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Beautiful Saturday Walk

Another day in February - another sunny, beautiful day! There was no way that I could spend today inside, so my sister and I planned a trip to the Middle Fork Path in Springfield. This walking/bike path is less than a year old and is a real treasure for Lane County residents. The first phase of the trail celebrated its official opening ceremony April 26th 2011. The trail begins at Clearwater Park in Springfield, which abuts the middle fork of the Willamette River. Phase one of the path travels for 2.4 miles heading west. It begins next to the historical Springfield Mill Race. Recently a channel was created to connect the Mill Race to the Middle Fork, allowing young salmon a safe place to rest & grow.

The trail then veers away from the canal and enters a forested section for a while.

After walking for a bit we suddenly heard the loud roar of water and the path soon began to hug the bank of the Middle Fork of the Willamette. With the records rain of a few weeks ago, the river was still fairly high and was running very fast!

The path continued and dipped in and out of wooded areas and back to the river.

This is a pretty section where the river's course changes direction. At the base of the far hills you can see a green clearing.

It is this lovely oak savanna, far off in the distance.

This first section of the path ends at the base of Quarry Butte. Section #2 of the path will continue forward on the left side of the Butte and end up at  Dorris Ranch.

Quarry Butte so earned its name because of the old rock quarry at its base. It is now filled in with water and is a pretty pond.

But the big excitement of the day happened on our walk back. I thought that I heard the hollow thumping of a  woodpecker. We stopped and suddenly spied this handsome fellow! Normally Pileated Woodpeckers are very shy. But this guy was so intent on his work that were able to stop and take as many pictures as we wanted. Our talking didn't even seem to bother him. It is such a rare gift to see a Pileated up close and was the perfect ending to our day.                                                                                                                                                                                          

1 comment:

Heather said...

Hi Lexa... what a fun discovery you made! I know we have Pilieated Woodpeckers around our cabin, but I have yet to see one. From my window here at home I get treated to a Downy Woodpecker every now and then.

If there is one thing that we miss the most about Eugene, with the exception of Beppe and Gianni's tortellini, it would be all of the fabulous bike paths.

Enjoy another beautiful day today!