New trail system for the Metolius Preserve

Nov 09, 2017
The Land Trust is very pleased to present a new trail system for the Metolius Preserve!


The Land Trust is very pleased to present a new trail system for the Metolius Preserve! Staff has been working for several years to update all of our signs at all of our Preserves. A better navigation system for the Metolius Preserve and Whychus Canyon Preserve were top priorities.

As of this week at the Metolius Preserve, we've said goodbye to our old reflector-on-the-tree system and, instead, have welcomed the Larch, Fir, and Pine trail system!

You'll recall, the Metolius Preserve is broken into three checkerboard-type sections (see map below). Each section now contains trails named for a native tree:

  • Larch Trails: These trails are accessed via the Preserve’s North Trailhead, and take visitors through one of the most ecologically diverse sections of the Preserve. Fall is spectacular in this section of the Preserve when red and orange vine maple leaves and brilliant yellow larch shine. Spring and summer offer beautiful wildflowers and butterflies. Larch trails also connect to the regional Lake Creek Trail which connects Camp Sherman and Suttle Lake.

  • Fir Trails: These trails are accessed via the Preserve’s South Trailhead which includes the Betsy Johnson Interpretive Area with a large, covered interpretive kiosk and creekside viewing platforms. The Fir Trails offer a great introduction to the Metolius Preserve with easy hiking, quick access to Lake Creek, and interpretive signs that tell the story of native fish. Springtime brings lovely native wildflowers like mariposa lily, summertime offers cool, creekside refuge from hot sun, and fall blazes with beautiful golden bracken fern.

  • Pine Trails: These trails are also accessed via the South Trailhead. Pine Trails take visitors on a longer hiking loop through restored pine forest. This section of the Preserve is home to our most visible forest restoration efforts and is a great place to observe white-headed woodpeckers and other cavity nesting birds working on the snags we've created.

We hope you enjoy our new trail system! Let us know what you think next time you visit. As a reminder, the Metolius Preserve trails are open to non-motorized activities year-round with limited access due to snow in the winter. Please keep your dogs on leash at all times.


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