June 7 Field Trips
All field trips will depart from the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus at the time specified for each trip and return by 4:30 pm. PLEASE ARRIVE 15 MINUTES BEFORE THE DEPARTURE TIME.
Field trips are capped for attendees as specified for each trip and will close once full, except the Corvallis Area Tours (self-guided, no attendee cap).
A box lunch will be provided through OSU catering. There are no additional costs for field trip registration.
FT1. Metolius River Hiking Tour
- Leader: Chris Carlson, USFS
- This field trip will depart Corvallis at 7:30 am and drive to the Metolius River on the east side of the Cascade Range (approximately 2-hour drive). The Metolius River is a spring-fed river that emerges from the base of Black Butte as a full river. We will visit river near the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, take a short hike along the river to take in the scenery and the springs feeding the river, and have lunch. For the afternoon, we will drive to Jack Creek and hike the trail to the headwaters spring (about 1-mile round trip). We will see the base of a lava flow where the creek starts and briefly explore the ecology of the spring. We will depart the Jack Creek trailhead at 2:30 pm to return to Corvallis by 4:30 pm. Lunches will be available for pick-up at the LaSells Stewart Center prior to departure. Capped at 48 attendees.
FT2. River to Ridge – McKenzie River Basin Tour
- Leader: Liz Keppeler, USFS
- This field trip will depart Corvallis at 7:00 am and climb the McKenzie Pass Highway, exploring the waters and landscapes of the Willamette National Forest up to the high western Cascades. Stops will include Finn Rock Reach where floodplain restoration and wildfire effects can be observed; the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest where long-term research investigates watershed processes in managed and old-growth forest; and lastly, the high elevation basaltic lava flows that form Sahalie Falls and where hydrogeology and climate influence groundwater recharge and downstream water resources. Itinerary includes scenic stream-side hikes and a waterfall loop trail. We will return to Corvallis by 4:30 pm. Lunches will be available for pick-up at the LaSells Stewart Center prior to departure. Capped at 48 attendees.
FT3. Willamette River Rafting Trip
- Leader: Joe Ebersole, EPA
- This field trip will depart Corvallis at 7:00 am. Join us in a leisurely 12-mile rafting trip along the mighty Willamette River from Corvallis to Albany. The Willamette River is the 13th largest river within the USA, and the largest watershed contained within a single state draining 11,487 square miles. This 12-mile section of the river flows at a modest even pace over a gravel bed (no whitewater!) with sinuous bends and a few side channels, islands and sloughs. Views will include expansive river habitats, riparian forests, and agricultural lands between the two urban cities. Visit with colleagues and listen to experts discuss the ecology of coastal cutthroat trout and other native fishes and see examples of restoration efforts along the Willamette River. We will be guided by OSU Adventure Leadership Institute (ALI), who will provide essential river gear such as wetsuits, booties, and life jackets. All you need to bring is appropriate clothing (for under wetsuits if wetsuits are needed), a towel to dry after the trip, and a good attitude. Sun protection is highly recommended (sunscreen, hat, sunglasses). We will return to Corvallis by 4:30 pm. Lunches will be available for pick-up at the LaSells Stewart Center prior to departure. Capped at 30 attendees.
FT4. Oregon Coast Trip
- Leader: Jim Kaldy, EPA
- This field trip will depart Corvallis at 7:30 am and explore the dynamic and interesting confluence of geological and ecological wonders that is the Oregon Coast. The Oregon Coast Range and volcanic intrusions interact with the relentless force of water and the Pacific Ocean to create a wild and wonderful coastline. This excursion will be an early morning visit the tide pools at Seal Rock, just south of Newport on a minus tide (0940, -2.0 ft). Exploring the tide pools, you will likely find a variety of invertebrates such as mussels, urchins, anemones, chitons, and crabs as well as a variety of algae and seagrass. Perhaps seals sunning on the exposed rocks. After a bit of crawling around on the slippery rocks, we will visit the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) Campus. HMSC is a consortium of OSU and agency partners including EPA, NOAA, USFW, USDA, ACOE and ODFW. While at HMSC we will have opportunities to take in the “vertical evacuation” facility at the new Marine Science Initiative (MSI) building, view marine themed art displays (Sarah Logan – hand carved ceramics & Rain drawings; Lori Hepner’s photography and projection works) in MSI and walk along the estuary trail. The return trip will start off along Newport’s “working bayfront” to Toledo and then take a turn to go off the beaten path, tracing part of the Yaquina River through the watershed. Although anthropogenic development in the watershed is limited, the influence of current and historical silviculture on the watershed contrasts with the forest land. There are several opportunities along the way to observe marsh restoration, as well as log raft storage areas and other points of interest. Bring boots or a change of shoes as you are likely to get wet! Also suggested to bring a sweater/jacket/sweatshirt as the coast is usually much cooler than Corvallis, especially if upwelling is happening. We will return to Corvallis by 4:30 pm. Lunches will be available for pick-up at the LaSells Stewart Center prior to departure. Capped at 32 attendees.
FT5. Willamette Valley Agricultural Tasting Tour
- Leader: Renée Brooks, EPA
- This field trip will depart Corvallis at 8:30 am. The Willamette Valley has tremendous agricultural diversity allowing abundant produce year-round and agricultural products that are world renown. Join us on an agricultural tasting tour of the Willamette Valley and taste richness the Valley has to offer, as well as hear about its challenges. We will start at the OSU farmlands and dairy, walk to one of Oregon’s historic covered bridges, then tour and taste at a local organic produce farm, a local winery (lunch stop as well), visit local orchards (hazelnuts and apples), and end with a visit to a local hard ciderhouse and tasting room. (Note – some locations will have products for sale so be sure to bring some cash/credit cards if you wish to purchase.) We will return to Corvallis by 4:30 pm. Lunches will be available for pick-up at the LaSells Stewart Center prior to departure. Capped at 48 attendees.
FT6. Marys Peak Hike
- Leader: Jen Moore, USDA-ARS
- This field trip will depart Corvallis at 9:30 am. Join us for a hike to the summit of the tallest peak in the coastal range. At 4,097 feet, you can see the Pacific Ocean to the west and numerous peaks (I’ve seen 9 volcanic peaks on a super clear day) of the Cascade Mountain Range to the east across the Willamette Valley. We will drive within a mile to the summit with opportunities to take in the views, go on an additional, short (1.8-mile loop) hike through the meadows and forest, and depending on our spring timing, enjoy the bountiful wildflowers. The trail links alpine meadows, an old growth noble fir forest, and the Parker Creek riparian area. The drive is about 1-hour and we have plenty of time to enjoy box lunches, hiking, and relaxing. We will return to Corvallis by ~2:00 pm. Lunches will be available for pick-up at the LaSells Stewart Center prior to departure. Capped at 24 attendees.
FT7. Corvallis Area Tour
This self-guided field trip option is available for those who wish to stay closer to Corvallis. You may pick-up your box lunch between 7:30-9:15 am from the La Sells Center on the morning of Wednesday, June 7.
Some ideas for nearby walks, hikes, and scenic drives are listed below:
- Visit Corvallis Walking and Driving Tours
- Corvallis Murals Walk – easy walks in Corvallis
- Irish Bend Covered Bridge (Map) – easy walk on OSU campus in Corvallis
- Willamette River Trail (Willamette Park) – easy walking trails in Corvallis
- Avery Park Rose Garden and Natural Area along the Marys River – easy walking trails in Corvallis
- Bald Hill – easy to moderate walking/hiking trails near Corvallis
- Fitton Green Natural Area (Map) – easy to moderate hiking trails near Corvallis
- Peavy Arboretum – easy to moderate hiking trails near Corvallis
- McDonald-Dunn Forest – easy to difficult hiking trails near Corvallis
- Marys Peak – 1-hr drive with scenic views and short walks or a multi-mile hike; more ideas on how to enjoy Marys Peak here.
- Other nearby trails in the mid-Willamette Valley