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McDonald Research Forest / McCulloch Peak

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Corvallis, Oregon

McDonald Research Forest / McCulloch Peak is a 8.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Corvallis, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 8.5 mi Elevation gain 1,699 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Hiking

Horseback riding

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Over grown

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Combination single track & fire roads through old & new growth w/3200 feet elv. Cont. from "Trailhead" ...Stay straight as first main road comes in from left, Stay L or straight as second road comes in from right, Take the steep left off main road. At the top of this climb is a clearing, look to left by downed log for a single track down to a gravel road, go L and climb to the point the road levels out. Look to your R for another single track trail. Follow this trail to the top of hill and down the other side till it comes out at a junction of fire roads. Take the left road and head down the road till it "T's". At the "T" go L stay on main road for about 2 miles (if you go down hill to main JCT, you missed it) and take a L onto short trail that goes up, at top take L (Stick in Your Eye). Follow this trail (including 30 yards of gravel at top) down to 760 rd, cross over and continue on trail down to 760 again, go R and follow down to 700, then down to car. Trails are muddy in winter & spring. Horses on roads, not trails.

Oregon State University Department of Forestry

From Corvallis, take 3rd street/HWY 99 W north for about 5 miles, then left on Lewisburg at the light. After about two miles take gradual right onto Sulfer Springs Road up and over the saddle and down to the parking area near the trail bridge just after it turns to gravel. This is your starting point (if you want to you can drive to the end of the road and park at the Orange Gate at the start of the 700 forest road. This hike can be done in either direction, either way you'll have two up hill climbs. I like to go counter-clockwise. From parking go N on Sulpher Springs, L on Soap Creek, then L on gravel Belden Creek RD (.33m). At about 1.0 miles take a R at 4-way and head up past Blue gate and at JCT go L. This is the gravel road to the top of Forest Peak (there a number of roads coming in, when in doubt, go up hill).

Weather
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Daylight
Reviews (20)
Photos (11)
Recordings (16)
Completed (67)
Malik Morris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat May 18 2019
HikingOver grown

This was a great hike, only saw one person at the start, and had lots of elevation. I would be careful of the poison oak in spots and the trail system requires AllTrails app or map as It would be easy to get turned around. Happy Trails

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Tammie Neve
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFri Mar 22 2019

I keep going back! I find it a good workout and always explore different routes up and down.

Mossy O.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri May 04 2018
Hiking

decent trail. I usually end up way off coarse due to the trail being short. I combine other trails/ roads to try and get my goal of 20 miles a day.

Mark Schearer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat Apr 07 2018

Good trail. Decent amount of people. Not really what I expected, but was still fun. Wouldn’t do it again but glad I did it!

Lon Lemkau
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Horseback riding

First off its impossible to get lost. The loop basically climbs in elevation and loops the ridge. It was helpful to keep my app on hand to check how the trails connected. This is not aggressive riding but still very enjoyable. We were able to find some grade and water crossings to challenge our animals. I would recommend this for a good day ride. You could easily return for several trips and find new routes. Riding clockwise be aware the last stretch back to the start is on the paved road, approximately one mile.

Josh Marvin
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Running

Great trail with great elevation gain.

Ta Lia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon May 22 2017

The directions take you to a literal triangulated spatial nowhere. It took some driving around but eventually we found the trail head. So be aware of that. Strategies for arrival aside, this is a fun, beautiful, well kept trail with a lookout point nestled near the peak.

John Cretella
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 17 2016
Hiking

seems like there is a lot to explore up here. will go again for sure.

Stewart H.
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Hiking

There are a number of different ways to the top of McCulloch Peak, all different and all interesting, some more than others. You can approach from the Oak Creek Station side, ascending by road all the way. You can approach this way, ascending via Uproute and then heading off into the woods on the left, heading almost straight up through the woods, reaching a forest road at the top and then winding around to the top. Expert mtn. bikers come down this way, though I'm not sure how. You can ascent from a parking lot off Sulfur Springs Road that follows the road all the way or you can take shortcuts through the woods. Get a trail map in any case, to make sure you can get back to your starting point. Take water and some food / energy bars. This is a longish hike with some steep parts. If I were planning on doing some long hikes elsewhere this would be a great peak to practice on as it has some steep parts and is a failry long hike, about 9 miles (14 km). This is also a great mtn. bike peak. You can take many of the same routes as you would on foot, though some, esp. the one I mentioned earlier off Up Route, likely would involve pushing your bike uphill a lot. It would be a screamer coming down, assuming you have the skills. Good luck. Oh yes, the views are pretty good, though if you want good views, stick to Dimple Hill and Marys Peak.

Ben Chinburg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jun 07 2011
Mountain biking

First off I'd like to mention that the trail category should not be labeled as "loop". Matrix is a much more fitting title. There are as many ways into the trails as there are out. The bonus to these trails is that all the parking is on actual mapped roads instead of logging roads and at every parking lot is a map of the trail system. I went out and got lost for three hours and it was glorious. The climb to Dimple Hill is very scenic and a great exercise, the more advanced cyclist should grab a map and ascend the big butte. I can't remember the name but it's over 2100 ft. elevation. The thing to be mindful of is when to enter the single track. Climbing up a descent trail can be a major pain but if you enter at the right path prepare your cheeks for a permanent smile. The link is where I parked. I found it best to park at the farthest north parking lot since most of the trails would be south. I found it easiest to navigate while lost by traveling north.

Sarah Farrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jan 04 2020
Hiking
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Rachael Macdonald
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Dec 21 2019
Hiking
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Robin Brandt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Sep 02 2019
Mountain biking
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Sun Lee
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Hiking
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Vinny Ferrero
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Hiking
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Doug Chalton
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Hiking
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Kari Wiens
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Hiking
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Madison Swackhamer
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Hiking
Kristie Moore
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Hiking
Ankur Desai
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Hiking
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