My wife Krista and I absolutely loved visting the Francis Shrader Old Growth Trail near the Rogue River and the Oregon Coast. Along with massive, 250-foot-tall Douglas fir and Port Orford cedar trees, we saw a stunningly-rich diversity of plants and wildlife species.
There were lots of tasty huckleberries, as well as beautiful rhodendron, tanoak, and lush ferns, not to mention my favorite of all the plants, thick, bright-green mosses covering the branches of the towering trees. The forest was filled with divese birds including stunning woodpeckers and varied thrushes snacking in old snags.
The trail is an accessible 0.8 mile loop, with the beautiful sound of a creek along the majority of it, not to mention the happy calls of the many birds. We also appreciate the free flier that's available at the entrance which explains the numbered stations along the way.
We wanted more of a workout, so we chose to walk an extra couple miles up the road to the trailhead rather than drive all the way up the steep hill. It was also an enjoyable hike up and back through a younger forest. It is a well-maintained Forest Service and logging road that changes from pavement to packed gravel, but any car in good condition could make it up.
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