A couple weeks back I ventured down to Southern Oregon to explore a different style of countryside. Roseburg has a lot more of the rolling hills than we do up here in the Willamette Valley, so I thought that would be a nice change of pace. My family has a cabin in the area, so I drove down the night before so I could get an early start… which I think ended up being 1pm. What can I say, I’m not an early riser.
I chose North Bank habitat to hike since it was close-ish to our cabin and had those rolling hills I wanted to explore. It used to be a cattle ranch way back in the day, which with how steep those dang hills are, I’m not quite sure how the cows did it. Does this mean cows are more agile than me?
The drive out to North Bank is beautiful as it follows the Umpqua River most of the way. You take 1-5 to Wilbur and then N.Bank Rd. heading East for 12 miles. There are quite a few places to pull over with views of the river, and some fields of sheep. Why do I find sheep so impressive? I’m really not sure, but I enjoy the view of sheep just as much as the view of the Umpqua River, if not more.
When you get to the parking lot there are quite a few trails you can take around the land. I asked a group of locals on their horses which they suggested and they pointed one out. I followed their recommendation but forgot the name of the trail.. not that it matters.. you’ll see. I headed out on the trail and it splits a few times, but all with proper signage which is nice. The trail was a little flooded from rain the previous days, which normally wouldn’t be an issue but this particular hike I chose to bring my very short chihuahua. We tried walking next to the trail but the grass was just too tall for her little legs, so I ended up putting her in my pack. I kept looking up the side of this steep grassy hill to the top and thinking I just wanted to get up there! So with it being mostly clear of trees and brush, I decided to bee line it up the side of this monster.
On the way up, it was fine as I was basically crawling with how steep it was. The view at the top was ridiculously amazing looking every direction. I did find a nice wide trail while at the top, that was probably the one I was supposed to follow. I would’ve went back down that way, but what fun would that be. With the grass being a little wet, I did slide down about 25 ft, which was quite exhilarating and I somehow managed to keep my dog in my pack and not squish her to death. I’d say win-win.
Overall this place is great of horses, bikes, and hikers, and would be great for a family day trip to wander, explore and get some sun.
Oh.. and check for ticks.