Aufderheide Memorial Drive - Oregon Scenic Drives
This road, formerly called Forest Road 19 and sometimes called the "Box Canyon Road", is a popular 145 mile loop from the Eugene-Springfield area.
Aufderheide Drive is reached from the Eugene-Springfield area either by traveling the McKenzie Highway (Hwy. 126) to a point 3.5 miles above Blue River or by traveling Highway 58 and then turning north to Westfir. The road travels along the South Fork of the McKenzie River and the North Fork of the Willamette River and through Box Canyon. Numerous spots along the route are suitable for picnicking, sightseeing. and fishing. Signs along the route point out shelterwood cuttings. reforested clear-cut areas, results of a wildfire, railroad timber harvesting along the North Fork in the 1940's and other forest management project.
A log cabin replica of the old Box Canyon guard station stands near the summit of the drive, near a roadside monument and plaque erected in Aufderheide's memory. This is also the location of the recently completed Box Canyon Horse Camp. The horse camp provides 13 campsites which allow horse and rider to camp close together. These sites include nine single units and two double units. Associated with the campsites are 26 corrals.
There are several scenic trails in this area that access both roadless and wilderness areas. These include Chucksney Mountain trail, Grasshopper trail, and Crossing Way trail.
Aufderheide Drive was named after and dedicated to the memory of Robert Aufderheide who was Willamette National Forest Supervisor from 1954 until his death in 1959.
"What an appropriate setting to honor a man who was devoted to professional forest management, "said Jeff Sirmon, Pacific Northwest Regional Forester in his address at the dedication. "I'm sure he would be delighted knowing his monument rests here in the heart of this magnificent forest."
During his career, Aufderheide was instrumental in helping the Forest Service complete the transition from custodial management to professional intensive forest management under multiple-use principles. "Bob was an influential leader of forest managers during this important time in National Forest history," said Sirmon.
"Bob embodied and practice multiple-use during an important growth stage of Willamette National Forest history," said Mike Kerrick, the present Forest Supervisor. "He was a dynamic leader in forest management who made significant contributions to this state during his 25-year career.
Aufderheide Memorial Drive
Distance: 145 miles
Time: 6 hours
The North Fork-South Fork Loop takes you from Eugene out Highway 58 to Highway 126, via Forest Road 19 (Aufderheide Memorial Drive). This trip can be reversed starting on Highway 126 and then returning to Eugene along Highway 58.
Paved roads through scenic forest land, the historic logging community of Westfir, the Constitution Grove, Box Canyon Guard Station, the Aufderheide Memorial, Cougar Reservoir and the McKenzie Highway highlight this trip. This loop follows the Middle and North Forks of the Willamette River, up Box Canyon and down the South Fork and main fork of the McKenzie River. A number of interpretive signs are located along the Aufderheide Memorial Drive for you enjoyment. Large signs explain the drive as one enters Forest Service lands outside of Westfir and Blue River. In addition both Oakridge and Blue River Ranger Stations have more information available on the memorial drive. Additional points of interest and interpretive material will be added to this drive in the future.
Detailed information from Eugene to the Westfir Junction is included in the Crescent Lake Loop trip. Information about the trip from the Cougar Reservoir junction and Highway 126 to Eugene is included in the Clear Lake Loop trip.
(Please note that many of the forest roads are closed seasonally. Check with the ranger station listed at the end of the loop description to find out current conditions.)
00.0 00.0 Junction form Eugene of Highways 105 and Interstate 5. Take Interstate 5 to Junction with Highway 58.
4.8 4.8 Junction Interstate 5 and 58. Take Highway 58.
36.7 31.6 Westfir Junction (Oakridge Ranger station on right). Turn left. Cross bridge and turn left again.
38.7 2.3 Westfir. A historic former company mill town, established in 1924 by the Western Lumber Company and USDA Forest Service.
39.4 0.7 The former company office on the right, last owned and operated by the Hines Lumber Company. Red covered bridge on the left, built by the lumber company in 1945 and now one of Lane County's recognized historic covered bridges. Once the location of the 19th Century Oregon Central Military Road bridge. Proceed straight ahead.
39.5 0.1 Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge. The Southern Pacific line known as the "Natron Cutoff" reached Oakridge in 1912. The line was completed across the Cascades to Klamath Falls and California to the south in 1926.
MileagePointsAufdarheide Memorial Drive
40.0 0.5 Beginning of the Aufderheide Memorial Drive. Interpretive loop sign at pullout on right. You are now travelling upon the old roadbed for the railroad line that was used to haul 50 million board feet of timber per year from the North Fork drainage down to the mill at Westfir. The railroad bed was replaced by the current road after World War II.
42.1 2.1 Winberry Road (1910), on the left. Proceed straight on 19. Small turnouts allow parking for enjoying fishing, swimming and hiking along the North Fork. Note: angling only. This area was logged during the 1920's and 30's.
47.5 5.4 Cross North Fork on the Lower Gorge Bridge. Gorge on right. A logging incline once accessed Huckleberry Flats to the east from the main rail line. The grade was over 70% and was over 7000 feet long.
50.9 3.4 Junction Roads 19 and 1926, keep right on Road 19. The end of the historic logging railroad line was at Camp 5 across the river. Christy Flats, to the west, was logged during and after World War II.
52.0 1.1 Junction Road 1928. Keep straight on Rd 19. (Right to Oakridge 15 miles.) Road 1928 connects to the Huckleberry Flats area, logged by steam donkey and railroad during the 1930's and 40's.
57.3 5.3 Kiahanie Campground (USDA Forest Service). Open Spring through Fall. Small Fee, 21 tent/trailer sites and river access to the North Fork.
58.0 0.7 Brock Bridge across the north Fork of the Willamette River, an Oregon State Scenic Waterway.
59.0 1.0 Junction with old Box Canyon Road, completed in 1934 by the Forest Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps, connecting Oakridge and Blue River. Brock Meadow to the north was used by cattle ranchers at the turn of the Century and later for a Guard Station site by the Forest Service.
65.5 6.5 Constitution Grove, dedicated 1987 in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. A self-guided trail leads you through this grove of 200 year old trees which were just seedlings when our country's founding fathers drafted and signed this important document. Plaques with the names of the original signers are placed on these old growth trees along the trail.
67.0 1.5 Waldo Wilderness Trail Access, Trail #3567. Follows along the North Fork east of Moolack Mountain, many lakes and primitive camping opportunities abound.
MileagePoints Aufderheide Memorial Drive
69.0 2.0 Junction Skookum Camp Road (Rd 1957). 3.7 miles to Skookum Creed Campground and Waldo Wilderness Access via Erma Bell Lakes Trail #3563.
69.1 0.1 Box Canyon Guard Station. Built by the Civilian Conservation Corp. and the Forest Service during the 1930's (Depression Era). Box Canyon Horse Camp on opposite side of road. Grasshopper Trailhead (#3569) also on west side of road near horse-camp, offers access to Chucksney Roadless area.
69.4 0.3 Willamette National Forest interpretive sign. The log cab in the meadow is a replica of one built in 1918 by G. J. Landess and Smith Taylor for a Forest Service Fire Guard. Grazing livestock was the only use of this area of the Forest at that time. By 1934 a dirt road and the Box Canyon Guard Station were constructed by Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees.
72.8 3.4 Roaring River Bridge.
72.9 0.1 Roaring River Campground (U.S.D.A. Forest Service). Group campground, reservations only.
73.4 0.5 Frissell Crossing Bridge. Cross South Fork McKenzie River.
73.5 0.1 Frissell Crossing Campground (U.S.F.S.). 12 camp sites. This area offers fishing, hunting, scenic enjoyment and nature study. Rebel Rock and the Three Sisters Wilderness area are accessible by trail form this point. Timber adjacent to the South Fork of the McKenzie River is managed to maintain an attractive area for recreation. Recreation is part of the planned multiple-use management of the National Forest Resources.
75.2 1.7 Twin Springs Campground (U.S.F.S.). 8 camp sites.
77.11.9 Homestead Campground (U.S.F.S.). 7 camp sites.
78.8 1.7 Dutch Oven Bridge. The name origin is explained by an old story. A burro, packed for a fishing party, fell over a cliff near this point and was killed. About the only part of the pack that was undamaged was a demijohn of whiskey, but an iron Dutch oven was badly broken and the rest of the pack ruined. The remains of the oven lay in the vicinity for several years.
MileagePointsAufderheide Memorial Drive
80.4 1.6 Rebel Rock Trail. Rebel Rock, which is not far away was named for an old pioneer sheepherder who boasted that he was the only rebel who had never been whipped, captured, or surrendered.
80.7 0.3 Rebel Rock Bridge.
83.6 2.9 French Pete Creek and trail. It is said that this stream, which is an important tributary of the South Fork McKenzie River, was named for French Pete, an early day sheepherder, who ranged his band in this area.
83.7 0.1 Yankee Mountain Trail.
83.8 0.1 French Pete Campground (U.S.F.S.). 17 camp sites.
85.0 1.2 West Side Bridge. Comfort Station. Stay on Road 19 and go left across bridge.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication