16.5 miles of hiking • 3000' elevation gain • 2 nights
Explored the lakes and area to the NE, was thinking this is public land as maps show it. Saw property sign on the hike in odd location (well within NF boundary), so did an after-hike research. Turned out this area was in National Forest long ago, then was privatized by Weyerhauser, then sold to a smaller investor in 2007 (& got closed to the public), then subdivided - and is in danger of getting built-up. Glad I got to see it still relatively intact, but sad it's being lost for hikers... Higher parts of this area are almost on par with Margaret Backcountry, only greener with the trees planted; the view of snowy peaks across Coldwater Lake was incredible. Lots and lots of wildlife, a pair of beavers swam by my camp back and forth completely unafraid, just a couple yards away. Elk and coyote tracks were everywhere. Pictures (fixed!): #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9
The story of this area from Oregonian in attached link.