This weekend The LovedOne was fully consumed with the library’s quarterly book sale (run by volunteers, all of it’s proceeds go to help the county library). But I needed to continue rehabbing my back with a lengthier – but not too lengthy – hike. My recent foray into spinal trauma had abruptly ended my two year infatuation with shoulder strap-only, loosely structured daypacks. 😥 So I had a new daypack – one with a properly lengthy torso, good load transfer, and a hip belt – to get comfortable with. 🙂 After acquiescing to a forecast of no rain (or snow) but little sun, I opted for a return visit to the nearby Ken Denman Wildlife Area. This time, I’d explore the area north of Little Butte Creek and, if nothing else, get to see the Rogue River and Little Butte Creek in full Spring flow.
To begin recouping our investment in a 2-year state park pass, I parked at the TouVelle State Recreation Site, then followed the park’s interpretive trail into the wildlife area’s Military Slough Unit. The trail was pretty muddy – even flooded in places – so I was happy to follow the dry gravel road that runs past the old Camp White ammunition storage bunkers to Agate Road. A short walk west on the road brought me to the Fish & Wildlife parking area for the Little Butte Creek Unit and a sign for the Little Butte Loop Trail. There is no signage past this point and the loop trail is only distinguished from a myriad of use trails by its width and horse hoof prints. It’s easy to get turned around on these trails. Most go to fishing spots along Little Butte Creek but one looked to reach the shores of the Rogue River above the confluence. When this trail disappeared into a seasonally flooded slough, I left a visit to the Rogue for another day and headed back. Overall, a good 8.3 mile leg and back stretch capped off by the usual brief ray of sunshine just before it ended. 🙄 But my back and the new pack seem to get along, so win-win. 😀