Hike Coordinator Richard O’Neill
It was a damp and sodden day that greeted 8 hikers lacing up their boots at the Panther Creek Trailhead. Fortunately, all the dampness was on the ground and vegetation and rain never materialized on this hike.
From the trailhead, the trail ambled up and down across a steep and forested slope high above the North Umpqua River. It was the tail end of autumn and while there were little or no leaves on the trees but there were several inches of leaf detritus upon the trail. It was like following the “Yellow Brick Road” except the bricks were leaves instead.
After nearly 5 miles of hiking in or through dead leaves, ferns, trees, mushrooms, etc., the Panther Segment came to an end and all hikers completing the segment decided to continue on with the Mott Segment. The Mott, unlike the Panther, tends to stay close to the river and we enjoyed views thereof. Numerous creeks ran across the trail and we still got to walk in or through dead leaves, ferns, trees, mushrooms, etc. We all enjoyed our 11 miles of hiking along the river and through the forest, thankful that it didn’t rain when it looked like it could.
Pictures by Richard O’Neill