Hiking Trails

brochure Malheur - Hiking Trails

Hiking Trails at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Oregon. Published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Refuge Trails cont. Landing Road is actually a driving route; 3 Boat Closed however, it may be most enjoyable to get outdoors to listen for birds on the Blitzen River and the surrounding marsh. At the end of the route, view Tern Island at a distance, observe the mouth of the Blitzen River flowing into Malheur Lake and possibly witness non-native carp stirring up the waters that unfortunately diminishes water quality. Length: 1½ miles one-way Grade: Gentle Surface: Two-track path 4 Buena Vista Overlook Trail is surrounded with years of geological processes and an abundance of wildflowers. Instead of driving to the overlook, stretch your legs and take this short trail. The trail, starting at the restrooms, will lead to an overlook with interpretive panels and an awe-inspiring view of Steens Mountain and a panorama view of the Refuge. The overlook is dedicated to Patrick R. Hickey, a USFWS employee who designed and built the overlook. Length: 1/3 mile one-way Grade: Gentle Surface: Native 5 Crane Pond Overlook Trail provides open terrain that leads to a rim of basalt overlooking seasonal ponds. The ponds may be water-packed allowing one to quietly observe and identify a variety of birds. If not, be rewarded with scenic landscapes and solitude. The trail was developed by Friends of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to support the goals of the Refuge. Length: ½ mile loop Grade: Gentle Surface: Native Other Trails: Auto Tour Route/Center Patrol Road (CPR) showcases the scenic Blitzen River Valley’s outstanding features of historical, geological, and biological interests. The driving route traverses all habitat types of the Refuge – shallow marshes, small ponds, flood irrigated meadows, rimrock, and grass and sagebrush covered hills; it is however, open to hiking, bicycling, cross-country skiing and horseback riding. Be cautious, the route is shared with vehicular traffic. Length: 42 miles one-way Grade: Gentle Surface: Gravel Desert Trail from Page Springs Campground to Diamond Craters is part of the Oregon State Recreational Trails System. Malheur’s section of the trail begins at East Canal Trail and continues toward ‘Dutch Oven’ caldera, Krumbo Reservoir, McCoy and Webb Spring Creeks and ending at Diamond Craters. Guides are available from the Desert Trail Association. Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Refuge Trails ‘…walking is the fresh-air way to view and listen to the birds.’ Malheur National Wildlife Refuge offers an experience to all visitors – a tremendous diversity and spectacular concentrations of wildlife, signs of earlier inhabitants, scenic landscapes and solitude, and some fresh air are all reasons to explore the Refuge. The Refuge offers 12 designated trails for hiking, bicycling and cross-country skiing from sunrise to sunset. Pets must be on a leash and please stay on designated roads and trails shown on this map and observe all regulations to protect wildlife. Refuge brochures, maps, information and interpretive exhibits are available at Refuge Headquarters. The Visitor Center is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 4:00 pm and staff with volunteers, most weekends. Refuge Trails: 1 Overlook Trail goes through sagebrush habitat for an opportunity to view birds in the tree canopies above Refuge Headquarters, for an up close view of one of the four historic lookout towers built by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC, 1935 - 1942), and for a stunning view of Malheur Lake that was established in 1908 to protect migratory and breeding birds although non-native carp have severely depleted food resources on the Lake. Length: 30 miles one-way (Horses and camping not permitted on the Refuge) Grade: Gentle and moderate Surface: Two-track path and native Malheur National Wildlife Refuge 36391 Sodhouse Lane Princeton, OR 97721 Length: 1/10 mile one-way Grade: Moderate Surface: Gravel Telephone: 541/493 2612 U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service 2 Marshall Trail leads to an observation blind overlook- ing Marshall Pond and slightly loops through marsh and sagebrush habitat. The blind was built to replace an Oregon Audubon Society photographic blind and designed with native rock to blend with the natural surroundings. The trail is in memory of David B. Marshall, a dedicated USFWS employee who once lived near the pond and was known for his strong advocate for wildlife and habitat conservation. Visitors with disabilities may be reasonably accommodated upon request and/or receive an alternative format publication. 6 Krumbo Reservoir was created to improve habitat for wildlife and angling. The drive to the Reservoir provides wildlife viewing within the marsh and sagebrush habitat. Along the way, look for a large rock for an opportunity to view the role of rock art of Welcome, enjoy your visit! Spring flowers along Buena Vista Overlook Trail Length: 1/5 mile loop Grade: Gentle Surface: ADA the Northern Paiute people. Once at the banks, roam freely along the Reservoir to view a variety of birds dependent on the open, deep water. Restrooms, picnic tables and shelters are available. Length: Free roam bordering the Reservoir Grade: Gentle Surface: Native 7 Benson Pond Trail was named for George M. Benson, the first Refuge Game Warden (1918 – 1949). George and his wife Ethel lived in an old ranch house that once stood amongst the trees that have created an oasis for wildlife. A Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC, 1935 - 1942) pump house still remains in the shade of these trees. Roam freely beneath the trees, watch and listen for a variety of birds and potentially observe the Trumpeter swans that typically nest on the pond. Length: ½ mile one-way Grade: Gentle Surface: Two-track path and native 8 Bridge Creek Trail begins at the confluence of Bridge Creek and the Blitzen River. The trail provides an abundance of birds and other wildlife intermixed with willows and other friendly wildlife habitat. The twotrack path of the trail eventually ends; however, roam freely heading east along Bridge Creek, which leads to East Canal Trail. Length: 1 ½ miles one-way Grade: Gentle Surface: Two-track path 9 River Trail is along the most scenic section of the Blitzen River on the Refuge. The trail provides an abundance of songbirds and other wildlife. Access the trail at several areas from the confluence of Bridge Creek on the auto tour route (CPR), at the Historic P Ranch or along Steen Mountain Loop Road; however, most of the trail is native. The two-track path of the trail (3/4 mile one-way) is located at the Historic P Ranch, where the original Peter French 1880s historic long barn, beef wheel and hay tripod is. Refuge Trails cont. Refuge Map Length: 2 miles one-way Grade: Gentle Surface: Native and two-track path 10 Orchard Trail nestles at the Historic P Ranch, which was once the orchard for Peter French and residents in the 1880s. Roam freely in the orchard and watch for birds amongst the old growth trees and look for the resident mule deer eating from the apple trees. The trail loops through an area where there once stood twenty-one buildings for Peter French and residents and to the original Peter French historic long barn, beef wheel and hay tripod. 1-3 Length: Free roam amongst the orchard Grade: Gentle Surface: Native and two-track path Auto Tour Route Refuge Trails cont. 11 Barnes Springs Footpath, covered in spring wildflowers, leads to a homestead site characterized by cottonwoods and other non-endemic trees and shrubs associated with historic landscapes. Bird for potential rare and incidental birds, particularly songbirds, and at the end of the trail, observe an old mud brick building with corral, wattle fences, and warm spring pools. 4 5 Length: 9/10 mile one-way Grade: Gentle Surface: Two-track path and native 12 East Canal Trail is a pastoral trail accented by ample amounts of birds and butterflies. Enjoy the scenery and explore Mud Creek Brood Pond, Mud Creek and Bridge Creek along the way. The trail stops at Bridge Creek; however, roam freely heading west along Bridge Creek, which leads to Bridge Creek Trail. Be cautious, the trail is shared with vehicular traffic. Length: 3¼ mile one-way Grade: Gentle Surface: Two-track path 6 7 1 8 9 10 11 12

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