Had a lovely day hiking near Oakridge, Oregon at Larison Creek. We had been hoping to snowshoe today but had to turn around due to a truck fire on HWY 58. Luckily, there are numerous trail adventures to be had in the Oakridge area and were quickly enroute to hike instead of heading further up into the mountains for snow adventuring. One thing I've learned about adventuring is to be flexible and understand the area. Always have a plan B. Larison Creek is a multi-use trail just east and south of Oakridge, Oregon. Traveling east out of Oakridge turn right (south) at the signs for Hills Creek Lake. Take a right onto FR 21. About 3 miles down you will see a trailhead on the right just before a bridge. This is the lower Larison Creek Trailhead. There is also an upper trailhead that can be accessed by gravel roads rather than paved roads.
Two of my buddies and I hiked out along the trail which starts out along a cove of the Hills Creek Lake. The cove is flanked by stumps, reminders of logging days gone by. But the trail quickly escapes the stumps into an old fir and hemlock forest.
The trail skirts the creek with one small creek crossing not far into the hike. We adventured along taking the opportunity each time a side trail ventured off to the creek. We had plenty of photo opportunities and spotted a little lizard-like newt on the trail.
We had our eyes open for black trumpet mushrooms or hedgehog mushrooms but spotted neither. At the second left-venturing side trail to the creek, we found a tiny cascade along the creek and set up for a picnic. We had brought some baguettes, brie, avocado, and some locally made, 15 year aged balsamic along with a bottle of Sarver Wine, some Wandering Goat Coffee, and a gose from Oakshire Brewing. There were three of us hiking, of course we all had to bring our own drink. It was a fine setting to enjoy good food with two of my homeboys.
After the picnic, we hiked back as the sun began to set behind the Cascade foothills. This was my second time at Larison Creek. The first visit I did a short trail run with my running pal on a damp fall afternoon and literally ran into patches of chanterelles a couple miles into the trail. We were quickly loading up our pockets with as many edible mushrooms as we could haul. Now that I have experienced this trail in autumn and winter I'd like to return in spring for wildflowers. And of course some blissfully warm summer day we will return to check out the rest of the trail and a swimming hole I've heard is further up the hike.