Last year in my Environmental Science Class at Chemeketa Community College our professor took us to H.J Andrews for a field trip. Angel did the same trip the year before with her sister when they took the class. Since then both Angel and I have wanted to go back together and explore. This past weekend, we got our chance.
H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest is located in the Cascade mountains just west of Blue River, Oregon. Covering 15,800acres (24.68mi2), the forest is administered cooperatively by the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, Oregon State University, and the Willamette National Forest. The forest is used for research, including long term research, as well as education, but the public are welcome to come visit and hike select trails. There is some information you should know before tromping through the forest though. (Visitor Info) I don’t believe many people come out here to hike. Most people I talk to about it have never even heard of it, with longer and more extensive trails to bike in more well known parts of the Willamette National Forest just a couple miles down the road. At HJ there are two public use trails to hike. Lookout Creek Old-Growth Trail(3.5mi one way) goes along Look Out Creek through beautiful old-growth forest. Your other option is the Carpenter Mountain Lookout Trail (1.6mi), which is a short hike, that consists of stunning views of the forests of the Cascade Mountains and Wolf Rock. There is a lot going on at HJ Andrews, if you are interested in finding out more please checkout their site and read about the wonderful and interesting research that is going on there, along with all the other interesting information. andrewsforest.oregonstate.edu/ More links at the bottom of the page.
Angel and I hiked some of the lower Lookout Creek Old-Growth Trail, and I was able to try out my new camera mount for my GoPro that I made out of $12 worth of 7 feet of threaded PVC pipe. It helped to allow me to get higher and farther reaching camera views without unnecessarily crushing vegetation, in out of reach spots and in the water without freezing my hands off like I am used to. It worked out pretty well, I can’t wait to use it more on future adventures, hopefully more with clear water.
Here are some other links about HJ Andrews Experimental Forest:
Students and Teachers
Old Growth Virtual Tour
Creative Writers Collaboration
Forest Map Collection
PDF: HJ Andrews brochure
PDF: HJ Andrews Map, Backside
PDF: Lookout Creek Old-Growth Trail brochure
PDF: Max G. Geier, (1948-2000) Necessary Work: Discovering Old Forests, New Outlooks, and Community on the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest