North Umpqua Trail: Calf Segment is a 3.7 mile point-to-point trail located near Idleyld Park, OR that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and mountain biking and is accessible year-round.
Having not had rain in town for over a week, I suspected the skies were clear out of the valley and ventured on Christmas Eve to the North Umpqua trail. We did find clear skies with occasional wisps of fog on this brisk 37 degree day. We hiked the Calf segment downstream. We met not another human and could have imagined ourselves deep in the wilderness if it wasn't for the occasional car passing on highway 138 across the river.
Our winter weather has been unseasonably dry and the lack of rainfall for the past week prompted me to go hiking on Christmas Eve. As suspected, when we drove out of the valley along Interstate 5, the fog cleared and we were met with clear blue skies, interspersed with the occasional low flying cloud. We hiked the Calf segment downstream. There were remnants of the freezing snowstorm a few weeks back as we ran into melting icicles still clinging onto rock overhangs where water now flows. Some of the well maintained trail was still covered in snow but for the most part, it was a great hike. With the river still quite low, large boulders that normally are surrounded by water were forming the shoreline. This hike takes you through a part of the forest that was burned in 2002. Although the forest is recovering, many tall dead trees still stand along the steep embankment and make striking silhouettes looking uphill against the sky. The trail hugs the south embankment of the North Umpqua River for the majority of the hike with an occasional side trek up a feeder creek and accompanying bridge. The trek is not difficult but narrow in parts and it is a steep slope down to the river below which ranges from a few feet off the river to a few hundred feet.