Our journey started out with a two mile hike on the New and Old Growth Trails of Corvallis. Rule number one established: no racing! We are on this path together, right? Oh the competition of brothers! It wasn't too hard to get them to embrace this rule...but soon turned to a game of fleeing together from the "enemy." I was, however, able to overlook that the "enemies" were the parents.
Names were assigned and included Navigation Scout, Knife Scout, Backpack Scout, Camera Scout AND...Cute Scout.
A stop at the quarry lent the opportunity for the capture of some salamanders and the discovery of an interesting bug named Joe. I always like when my kids find salamanders due to their extraordinary photogenic nature. We also saw a tiny garter snake and attempted to rescue two goldfish stranded in a puddle, but I don't think they survived the chlorinated ride home in our water bottle.
About the trail
This trail is part of McDonald Forrest and is accessed from the Lewisburg Saddle. From HWY 99, leaving Corvallis, take a left at Lewisburg (heading West). There is a small store if you need to pick up drinks or any other forgotten necessities. Veer right on Sulphur Springs Rd and drive 1.5 miles to the top. You will see a gate and a parking area: park on the right side.
Many different trails can be accessed from this point, but to get to the New/Old Growth trails, begin walking and go DOWNHILL at the split in the road. The entrance to the New Growth trail will be on the left just a short distance down. Taking this trial will connect you to the Old Growth Trail. When you get to a part where the trail splits, take the left fork and don't go up the hill unless you want to want to go back. ;) This is the Old Growth.
Enjoy! The trees here are HUGE! Some are over 200 years old. There is a wandering creek with a couple of bridges, stumps of ancient trees to explore and wildflowers to admire. When you get to the road again, take a right and head back, but don't let the fun end. You will soon come to a quarry on the left. This is where you can find goldfish and salamanders.
The Old Growth Trail is open year round, but can be muddy when wet. It is made of gravel and packed dirt and is rated "easy" according to the Corvallis Trail Guide.