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Elijah Bristow State Park, Oregon, United States

Elk Trail - Elijah Bristow State Park

Easy hike along Lost Creek and the Willamette River in Elijah Bristow State Park

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Difficulty: Easy
Length: 1.5 miles / 2.4 km
Duration: 1 hour or less
Family Friendly • Dog Friendly
 
Overview: The Elk trail is a short flat hike in a small portion of Elijah Bristow State Park. It starts along Lost Creek, continues past Channel Lake, through a meadow being restored to native species, then finaly along the Willamette River. In the spring you will find a variety of wildflowers along the trail.

Elijah Bristow State Park is an 847-acre collage of meadows, wetlands, ponds and scattered woodlands along the south bank of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River. It is the centerpiece of a complex of parks on the river below and above Dexter Dam.

Mountain bike riders, horseback riders and hikers share nearly 12 miles of trails that lead to great fishing holes and quiet places for watching wildlife, such as deer, elk, beaver, great blue herons, hawks, bald eagles and coyotes. Professional botanists and student naturalists are lured by the park’s diverse ecosystems, model restoration efforts and prime breeding grounds for the Western pond turtle. Seasonal salmon runs present added spectacles for sightseers and enticements for anglers.


Tips: Take Hwy 58 East of Eugene for 9 miles and turn left on Wheeler Road. Turn right into the park and keep left at the junction. You will see the Lost Creek Parking area on your left.

For longer hikes combine with one of the other many loops in the State Park.

Points of Interest

Parking
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Lost Creek Parking Area

From this parking area labeled by the sign "Lost Creek" you can access the Elk Trail ahead.
Junction
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Trail Junction - Ford Lost Creek

If you are on horse back you can access the Heron Trail by turning left here and ford Lost Creek.

Most hikers will choose to continue on Elk Trail straight ahead.
Junction
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Trail Junction - Loop Back Here

Either left or right the Elk Trail will loop back to this point.

The trail ahead walks along Lost Creek.
Junction
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Trail Junction - Cut through Forest

Continue to the left along the Elk Trail or take a shortcut to POI # by turning right here.
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Trail Junction

Continue Left to hike through a meadow and restoration area, or turn right to a shortcut to POI # 7.

Invasive vegetation has been a problem since this area was clear cut in the 1960s. Riparian Restoration Stewardship has been trying to rid the area of invasives and plant natives. Here's a meadow where plants are encased in blue tubes to protect them from munching elk and deer
Junction
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Trail Junction - River Trail

Straight ahead is the River Trail. The Elk trail turns right here.
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Trail Junction

Continue on the Elk trail to your left. The trail to the right will take you back to POI #5.
Junction
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Trail Junction - Willamette River

You can now see the Willamette River on your left. The trail that cuts to the right will take you back to POI #4. Continue straight along the Elk Trail.
Junction
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Trail Junction - Turtle Trail

The Turtle trail connects here to your left. Horses and bikes are not alowed on the Turtle Trail.
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Trail Junction - Turtle Trail 2

The Turtle Trail loop exits the Elk trail here on your left.
Junction
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Trail Junction - Parking Areas

Turn right here across the meadow to return to the Lost Creek Parking Area. The trail to your left will take you to the Channel Lake parking area, which you can take and combine with the Turtle Trail for a longer hike if you want, it will loop back in at POI #9 or #10 depending on which way you hike on the Turtle Trail.
Pictures in this guide taken by: JMilesMiller

Elk Trail - Elijah Bristow State Park Trail Map


POIs: numbers | icons View large Trail Map

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About the Author

JMilesMiller
JMilesMiller
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I've always liked the outdoors, but have been into hiking trails heavily since 2009. Everytrail really...

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