Picture by Lee Juillerat Sections of the Fish Lake path proceed alongside North Fork Little Butte Creek.
Picture by Lee Juillerat Hikers go beneath a tree with an “previous man’s beard.”
A bubbly steam. Riparian meadows. Forest thickets of excessive cover timber. Splashes of colourful wild flowers. And as a reward, lunch and dessert on the Fish Lake Resort.
Our 6.6 mile spherical journey hike began from Fish Lake Trailhead through Highway 37 from North Fork Campground. It is an awesome begin as a result of the path parallels the North Fork Little Butte Creek for about half a mile earlier than making a left on the unsigned junction. The primary part affords up-close views of the roaring whitewater creek because it teeters by way of detours created by fallen timber and beaver dams.
On the junction, the facet path results in the bottom of Fish Lake Dam, which was in-built 1921-22. In accordance with William Sullivan’s “100 Hikes in Southern Oregon,” the rocks for the dam have been hauled away by horse-drawn railroad automobiles. The person-made dam tripled the unique measurement of the lake fashioned 1000’s of years in the past from the Brown Mountain lava circulate, which is seen on the south facet of the stream and lake. The Medford Irrigation District makes use of the water from Fish Lake for the Rogue Valley orchards.
Because it does on its option to Fish Lake, the principle path winds alongside the north shore by way of historical forest of dense stands of towering fir timber and shows of untamed flowers. Occasional sightings of wilted trilliums have been seen earlier this week together with bursts of phlox, spirea, dogwood, lavender and, on many timber, “previous man’s beard” or beard lichen or usnea. Lichens, largely pale grayish inexperienced in coloration, drop from tree branches like tassels, typically hanging a foot or extra.
In accordance with web sources, the beard lichen / usnea species have been used to create orange, yellow, inexperienced, blue and purple dyes for textiles, whereas one species is used within the manufacturing of cosmetics for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties corresponding to preservative and deodorant. And wait, there’s extra, together with the usage of “beards” in mouthwashes, gargles, and lozenges for irritation of the oral mucous membranes.
As a substitute of mouthwashes or lozenges, we save our appetites for the luxurious forest surroundings and lunch on the Fish Lake Resort restaurant. Alongside the best way, the path handed by way of openings overlooking the lake that provided views of the sloping lake, occasional boaters, and higher but, geese, geese, and different waterfowl. The path additionally passes facet trails that result in Doe Level and Fish Lake summer season homes and campgrounds earlier than reaching the resort space.
From the resort, it’s doable to proceed one other half mile alongside the sting of the lake and a forest fringed by massive blocks of basalt lava to the Excessive Lakes Path, which then intersects with the Pacific Crest Path, and additional on, passes by way of lava flows as much as Nice Prado and Lake of the Woods.
We did not see these locations, as an alternative we stopped on the Fish Lake Resort. Our hungry group stuffed two outside tables facet by facet with an epicurean assortment of salads, burgers, veggie burgers, sandwiches, fries and candy potato fries and drinks, restocking for the three-plus mile hike again to the beginning. of the path.
The meals was scrumptious, however not as scrumptious because the surroundings.
To get there from Medford, take Freeway 140 East towards Klamath Falls for 30 miles. Between milestones 28 and 29, flip proper onto Freeway 37, then drive half of mile to the Fish Lake trailhead and the roadside exit in entrance of the North Fork Campground entrance.
Contact freelance author Lee Juillerat at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-880-4139.