Few residents of Eugene and Lane County, Oregon know about the Travis Tyrrell Seed Orchard and its Forest Succession Trail. The local Bureau of Land Management (BLM) District manages this 500-acre orchard to produce conifer seeds. These seeds are then planted in nurseries to produce seedlings that the Federal government and private landowners use to replant areas after timber harvest. The Oregon Department of Forestry requires reforestation in many cases after cutting down and selling trees under the Oregon Forest Practices Act.
The public can explore the orchard and follow the Forest Succession Trail, which shows how different tree species grow and develop over time - from clear cutting to old growth forest. Visitors can also drive through the orchard to a scenic overlook with picnic tables and great views. Bear, cougar, and other wildlife also call this place home.
The Forest Succession Trail is usually open to the public on Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. If you're planning on visiting, call ahead at 541-683-6445 to make sure you'll have access.
To get there from Eugene, take West 11th Avenue to Bailey Hill Road and turn south. Bailey Hill Road becomes Lorane Highway and it's a 12.5 mile drive to Territorial Highway. Turn left on Territorial and continue six miles to the town of Lorane. Turn right onto Siuslaw River Road and go three miles to the orchard located on the right side of the road.
Rick Obst is an Arizona native who moved to Eugene, Oregon in 2005 and fell in love with the verdant Pacific Northwest. He enjoys photography and discovering the many people, places, and events that make this part of the world so special.
To learn more about Eugene, Lane County, and western Oregon, visit 365 and More Things to do in Lane County, Oregon on Facebook. You'll see hundreds of pictures and links to discover the beauty and attractions of this special area.