2020 NPSO Annual Meeting Cancelled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in the best interests for the health and safety of our members, the Cheahmill Chapter has decided to cancel the Annual Meeting this year. While the number of new cases should decline over the next several weeks and months, subsequent waves of COVID-19 are likely to recur once social distancing is relaxed. We are exploring hosting the meeting next year (2021) at Spirit Mountain Lodge and offering much the same program.

If you have already sent in your registration form and payment, your checks will be shredded. Those whose checks were already deposited will receive a refund.

We look forward to seeing all of you in 2021, hopefully at Spirit Mountain. Please stay safe and healthy through this difficult time.

NPSO 2020 Annual Meeting

May 29 - 31     Spirit Mountain Lodge, Grand Ronde, Oregon

Field Trips

Sunday May 31, 2020    Self-guided tour                    Field Trip # 94

Drift Creek Falls

The suspension bridge over Drift Creek Falls is 240 feet long

Difficulty:     Easy  (3-miles round-trip, plus optional 1-mile North Loop to view old growth) - Wide, well-used trail, long suspension bridge.

Elevation:     490 feet elevation gain

Group Size Limit:     No limit, but arrive early to secure a parking space.

Drift Creek Falls drops 75 feet and cuts through a wall of columnar basalt

Trip Description:     East of Lincoln City, the 2.6-mile out-and-back trail to Drift Creek Falls descends gently through a second-growth rainforest in the Coast Range. This coniferous forest of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla), and western red cedar (Thuja plicata) is draped with moss and lichens, and many woodland species line the trail. The falls come into view as you cross a 100-foot high, 240-foot suspension bridge, the longest suspension bridge in Oregon and Washington. Engineers say it sways no more than 2 inches and can support 165,000 pounds. The water falls 75 feet in a single drop over columnar basalt that was created 55 million years ago. A short steep trail to the base of the falls allows a spectacular view of both the falls and the bridge.

Notable species include goatsbeard (Aruncus dioicus), salal (Gaultheria shallon), red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium), salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis), deer fern (Blechnum spicant), western swordfern (Polystichum munitum), devil's club (Oplopanax horridus), bleedingheart (Dicentra formosa), foamflower (Tiarella trifoliata) and other coastal woodland species. Huge stumps of western red cedar bear the signs of planks that loggers stood on when using crosscut saws. Since there is no official plant list for the site, participants are requested to help generate a list for future visitors.

Appropriate Clothing and Footwear:     Unless it's been dry for a week, wear waterproof footwear.

Special Considerations:     NW Forest Pass or $5 fee for Suislaw National Forest required. This is a popular hiking site, so parking is limited and it could be busy on Sunday.

Meeting Place and Time:     Trip # 94 leaves at any time from Spirit Mountain Lodge. Take this self-guided trip at your own pace. The Drift Creek Falls trailhead is 16 miles from the beaches at Lincoln City.

Driving Miles and Time from Spirit Mountain Lodge:     27 miles, one hour. Mostly paved, last few miles on one-lane, curvy road with occasional pullouts.

Driving Directions:     From Spirit Mountain Lodge, take Highway 18 west to Bear Creek Road. Turn south (left) on Bear Creek Road and follow the signs to the Drift Creek Falls parking lot.

Leader:       Self-guided tour

Plant Lists and Other Information:     Clink on the links below for more information about this trip.

The suspension bridge offers safe handholds and solid footing. The sway amounts to only a couple of inches.

Foamflower (Tiarella trifoliata) is among the many coastal woodland species along the well-maintained trail.

Lisa Blackburn, Cheahmill Chapter, snaps a shot of the falls from the bridge.