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Oregon State Parks

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Oregon Coast Region
Elliott State Forest
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The Elliott State Forest, located in western Oregon, is a unique natural treasure that showcases the diverse beauty and ecological significance of the region. Spanning over 82,000 acres, this forest is characterized by its towering old-growth trees, pristine waterways, and abundant wildlife. It offers a mesmerizing blend of lush greenery, vibrant wildflowers, and breathtaking views that attract nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. The Elliott State Forest serves as a vital habitat for a variety of species, including the critically endangered marbled murrelet, making it an essential area for conservation efforts. It also serves as a haven for recreational activities such as hiking, fishing, and camping, providing visitors with an opportunity to immerse themselves in the serenity and tranquility of this magnificent forest.
History of the Area
The Elliott State Forest is located in the southern coast range of Oregon and has a rich history that dates back centuries.

Prior to European settlement, indigenous tribes including the Coos, Umpqua, and Siuslaw, inhabited the region and relied on the forest for its abundant natural resources. The tribes utilized the forest for hunting, gathering, and cultural practices.

In the mid-19th century, Oregon witnessed an influx of settlers drawn by the promise of land and timber. The Oregon Donation Land Act of 1850 allowed settlers to claim land in the region, leading to increased logging activities. The Elliott State Forest, named after a former Oregon Secretary of State, Samuel H. Elliott, saw its first timber harvest around this time.

In 1930, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) acquired control of the forest, and it was designated as a State Forest. The primary focus of the management was timber production, and extensive logging occurred throughout the 20th century. The revenue generated from timber sales was dedicated to supporting the Common School Fund, which provides funding for public education in Oregon.

However, over time, concerns about the impact of logging on ecological values grew. The Northern Spotted Owl, a species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, was found in the forest, further highlighting the need for conservation. Efforts to balance timber production and conservation led to the development of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) in 1995. The HCP aimed to provide protection for the Northern Spotted Owl while allowing limited timber harvesting.

The Elliott State Forest has faced challenges due to financial constraints and environmental controversies. Declining timber revenues and increasing costs resulted in a lack of fund allocation for habitat restoration and forest management. In 2015, the State Land Board decided to sell the Elliott State Forest due to unsustainable financial liabilities.

However, this decision faced significant public backlash, and concerns were raised about the potential loss of public access and preservation of the forest's ecological values. As a result, Oregon Governor Kate Brown proposed a new approach, known as the "Elliot State Forest Habitat Conservation Plan," in 2017. Under this plan, the forest would remain publicly owned while securing habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl, Marbled Murrelet, and other species.
Elliott State Forest in Oregon is a public-owned forest that offers various recreational activities. However, it's important to note that as of now, there are no established campgrounds within the Elliott State Forest itself.

That being said, you can still enjoy camping near this area:

1. Loon Lake Lodge and RV Resort: This resort located just outside the state forest provides cabins and yachts for rent along with an option for tent or RV camping.

2. William M Tugman State Park: Located about 20 miles from Elliot State Forest on Eel lake where fishing & water sports are popular.

3. Umpqua Lighthouse Deluxe Yurts (State park): It's around half an hour drive away but has unique accommodation options like deluxe yurts apart from standard campsites.

4. Sunset Bay Campground: A little further out but situated right next to beautiful coastal views at Coos bay.

5. Umqua Riverfront RV Park: Offers river frontage sites which include full hookups plus cable TV and Wi:Fi access.

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In this lush, green expanse located in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., fishing enthusiasts can enjoy a variety of options. The area is home to several rivers and streams that are teeming with different species of fish. Anglers have opportunities for both fly-fishing and bait casting.

The most common catch here includes Cutthroat Trout which inhabit many smaller creeks throughout the forested land while Steelhead Trout prefer larger bodies like Mill Creek or Elk River during their spawning season from December through March. Chinook Salmon also make an appearance in these waters between October and November as they return upstream to spawn.

For those who love lake fishing, there's Loon Lake where you'll find Largemouth Bass along with Bluegill Sunfish - perfect for family outings on warm summer days!

Elliott State Forest in Oregon offers a variety of picnicking options for visitors. There are several scenic spots throughout the forest where you can set up your picnic, surrounded by lush greenery and wildlife. However, there aren't any designated or developed picnic areas with tables or facilities within the forest itself; it's more suited to rustic-style picnics on a blanket under towering trees. The nearby Loon Lake Recreation Area is just outside Elliott State Forest and provides established picnic sites complete with grills if that's what you prefer.

1. Millicoma Interpretive Trail: This trail is approximately 0. 5 miles long and offers an easy, family-friendly hike through the forest with interpretive signs providing information about local flora and fauna.

2. East Fork Millicoma River Trail: A moderate difficulty level trail that stretches for around six miles along the riverbank of East Fork Millicoma River offering scenic views of waterfalls, old-growth trees, moss-covered rocks, ferns etc.

3. West Ridge Loop Hiking Trails: These trails are a network within Elliott State Forest spanning over several kilometers featuring steep climbs up to ridge tops followed by descents into lush valleys filled with ancient Douglas fir trees.

4. Golden And Silver Falls State Natural Area Trails: Located in Coos County portion of Elliot state forest these two separate hiking paths lead you towards breathtaking waterfall vistas; both hikes being under one mile each way but quite steep at places making them moderately difficult.

5. Francis Schaffer Wildlife Area (FSWA): Although primarily designed for wildlife viewing this area also features few short walking routes allowing visitors chance to explore diverse habitats ranging from wetlands & riparian zones to mature coniferous forests home many bird species including Northern Spotted Owl which is listed as threatened under Endangered Species Act.

6. Rock Creek Wilderness Pathway: An adventurous off-trail trekking experience awaits those who dare venture deep inside Rock Creek wilderness zone where there aren't any marked pathways or maintained tracks instead only raw unspoiled nature waiting be discovered.

7. Elliott Ridge Trail: A challenging 10-mile round trip hike that takes you through dense forest, across creeks and up steep inclines to the top of Elliott Ridge where panoramic views await.

8. South Fork Coquille River Trails: These trails offer a variety of hiking experiences from easy strolls along riverbanks filled with wildflowers during spring season or more strenuous uphill climbs leading towards vantage points offering sweeping vistas over vast expanses state forest land.
Located in Oregon, this forest offers a variety of birding options. It is home to several species including the Marbled Murrelet and Northern Spotted Owl which are both endangered. Other birds that can be spotted include various types of woodpeckers, warblers, hawks and eagles among others. The area's diverse habitats such as old-growth forests provide excellent opportunities for bird watching throughout the year.

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Area Campgrounds
North Lake RV Resort & Marina
2090 North Lake Road
Lakeside, OR
Osprey Point RV Resort
1505 North Lake Road
Lakeside, OR
Loon Lake Lodge and RV Resort
9011 Loon Lake Road
Reedsport, OR

1. Start by heading south on I:5 S towards Salem.
2. Continue on I:5 S for approximately 120 miles until you reach Exit 162 toward OR-38 W/Drain/Elkton.
3. Take this exit and merge onto OR:38 W/Umpqua Hwy towards Reedsport/Dunes City/Florence.
4. Stay on OR:38 W for about 60 miles as it winds through scenic landscapes and forests.

Once you've reached the town of Elkton, continue with these steps to arrive at your destination:

5. In Elkton, turn right onto Territorial Highway/Oregon Coast Hwy/OR:138 E (signs for Drain).
6. Continue driving eastward along Territorial Highway/OR:138 E for around 17 miles.

At this point, you'll need to make a slight detour before reaching the forest entrance:
7. Turn left onto Loon Lake Road just after passing Umpqua National Forest signpost.
8. Drive northbound along Loon Lake Road which will take you past beautiful lakeside views.

Finally arriving at Elliot State Forest Entrance:
9. After roughly five minutes or so traveling down Loon Lake road,you should see signs indicating that you have arrived at Elliott State Forest's main entrance gate where parking facilities are available.

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Oregon State Parks