I toted my handsome dog Lennox with me today to show my Lois Lane listing just south of Bandon Oregon. My plan was to take him to the beach in Port Orford for a long run afterwards, but I  realized on my way to the house, the weather was not looking so hot. It was pouring rain by the time I finished showing the house and as I was driving down the gravel road past the last of the cranberry bogs to reach the highway, I made a last minute decision to cross the road and head to New River for a hike. Luckily I dressed warm and brought my rain coat. I had a feeling I might have to make a detour. We were only 8 miles south of Bandon and 12 miles north of Cape Blanco, so not too far from home. 

Although it was raining,we were protected by the veil of trees overhead in most areas along the trail…

 

I was bad and let my dog off his leash here when I saw that we were the only ones around. This is a leash only area for dogs per the signs posted. Can you blame me? He was so happy to run and play so freely and the rain just made it more of an adventure!

I learned today that we were at one of four public access points provided by BLM, named Storm Ranch. The trail we were on was the West Muddy Lake Trail, which begins a short distance from the Learning Center. After crossing the foot bridge, we entered an open meadow where I ran to reach the pine forest for cover. We followed the trail to the edge of a freshwater lake…

 

This is the wildlife platform located at the Muddy Lake Trail. This trail can also be accessed from River Road (at the other end from where we started) which is wheelchair accessible…

 

Lennox in action! (below)

This is a side trail that lead us to a spot along the river where you can view migratory waterfowl. Unfortunately (as I am not a fan of hunting or killing animals of any kind) I could hear gun shots not too far away. Apparently hunters are allowed to come here for the waterfowl.

 

Not the best photo of New River…but it was taken with a rain smeared camera lense as I had attempted to dry it off with my shirt…

 

It turns out the Storm Ranch portion of the ACEC (Area of Critical Environmental Concern) is approx 3 miles of trails for hikers, equestrians, and bicyclists. There is a learning center, picnic area, boat ramp, trails and wildlife viewing for day use and if you are limited on time, this is the shortest of the four trails. This hike averages about 45 minutes.

 

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