Hike Distance: 7.9 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1092.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1015 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 161789 feet
This pandemic continues to adversely effect everyone, and has definitely changed where and how we hike. As I’ve mentioned previously, we have no intention of hiking on normal trails until an effective treatment, or vaccine, is available. In our opinion, the forest roads are far safer, during a pandemic, than hiking on any of the popular trails, but as a result we’ve definitely sacrificed the quality of the scenery.
We’ve been hiking the same forest roads since the beginning of March, and wanted a change, so I’ve been investigating the forestry companies that DO allow recreation on their property. There are actually quite a few logging companies that have recreation opportunities. Some are by permit only, and some aren’t. The companies that require permits cost money, and can be expensive, and also limit the number of people that can get the permit.
The logging companies that allow recreation on their property, without a permit (or the permit is free), typically have no limit for the number of people on the property at one time. In many ways it is similar to state and federal owned lands, but logging companies have many more rules. At this time, many of the logging company land is closed due to the summer fire season, but not all of them. The hike today, and also tomorrow’s, is one of those companies that is still open for daytime recreation.
I also want to add a few more comments about hiking on private land. There are many logging companies, and you will need to Google what is available in your location. Visit the logging company site and see if they allow recreation, and read their conditions for use. It’s usually the larger companies that allow some sort of recreation.
Don’t expect a wilderness experience on private lands. There are clear cuts, active logging operations, and possibly traffic on the roads. One day you may find a gorgeous forested area and the next visit you’ll find the forest gone, so assume the views will change, and this may not be to your liking. You may also see other people walking on these lands, but we observe that most are bringing their dog(s). It’s possible to see logging company security while on their land. It’s not a big deal if you’re abiding by their rules, and we do!
Lastly, walking on forest road is harsh on the body. The roads are typically gravel covered and like walking on concrete. We’ve also slipped, or fallen, due to the loose gravel, so you need to be very careful. We feel that hiking on forest roads is still enjoyable, despite this risk.
Now, on to this specific hike. We parked just before a locked gate and headed out. This hike was on a typical private forest road. Describing the roads in detail would be pointless, as this was like any other forest road. However, there were some highlights. Notably, there was a nice view, looking east, early on in the hike The view wouldn’t have been there if the area hadn’t been clear cut. The second thing noticed on this hike was the huge number of flowers. Most were flowering weeds, but they’re still pretty to us. 🙂
The last observation we made was that there was a very loud barking dog at one road location. We never saw the dog, or owner. All the property around us was private, with no homes, so we wondered if this was a stray. In the past, we’ve had stray dogs follow us for miles, and not leave us alone. Many of these stray dogs are glad to follow people, but won’t come close enough to be caught, It’s frustrating when this happens, and it’s occurred several times.