Category: Exploring Nature Item
GPS Coordinates: 45.919516, -123.973600
Distance: 7 miles (11 km) total
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult, depending on the trail.
Elevation Gain: Level to 200 feet (61 m), depending on the trail.
Arguably one of the best outdoor areas in the Eugene area, the Mount Pisgah Arboretum is described as “a 209-acre living tree museum.” The facility offers almost seven miles (11 km) of hiking trails of various difficulty and through numerous ecosystems including meadows, forests and riparian areas.
There are seven suggested loop walks, ranging in length from less than 0.5 miles up to 1.5 miles (0.8 km to 2.4 km). Since the trails are interconnected, however, you can lengthen your hike as desired. Trails closer to the Coast Fork Willamette River are mostly level, but if you want to climb to the summit of Mount Pisgah expect some challenging elevation changes. If you decide to make the climb, some of the best views of the central Willamette Valley await you at the top!
As you might imagine, the real draw of the arboretum is its flora, especially its native and introduced trees. Hundreds of plants are catalogued and can be downloaded in a complete list from the Mount Pisgah website.
Of course, the area is great for wildlife spotting too. Due to its proximity to the Willamette River, riparian animals such as the Western Pond Turtle and various amphibians can be spotted along the muddy banks. Birds such as the Canada Goose, Great Blue Heron, Osprey, American Kestrel, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, and the Western Pileated Woodpecker can be spotted flitting between the treetops or soaring on the updrafts overhead. Mammals include Black-tail Deer, Coyote and Gray Fox.