Current Activities

Posted 4/16/2018 Spring Turkey Hunt through May 31st on Dunn Forest

The Spring Turkey Hunt is occurring on the Dunn Forest from now through May 31st.  Out of the 79 people who applied, 50 were randomly selected and received a letter in the mail allowing them to access the Dunn Forest for walk-in hunting.  Hunters may use a shotgun or bow, and may only hunt turkey with a visible beard.  

You may or may not see hunters while you are out on the Dunn Forest over the next month.  Here are some tips from the USDA Forest Service on hunting safety for hunters and other recreators. 

Here is a map of the area where hunting is allowed, for your reference.

CLICK HERE to learn more about hunts offered on the Dunn Forest. 

Posted 4/4/2018  Road and Trail Closures on 600 Road and near Extendo Trail Starting Thursday, 4/5/2018

On Thursday, 4/5/2018, harvest operations will start near the Extendo Trail, and are anticipated to last through June. The closures are associated with two harvests:

The Middle Extendo Clearcut will require closure of the 681 Road (closed 24 hours/day, 7 days/week), and the intermittent closure of a portion of the 600 Road. Cables for the Middle Extendo harvest will be stretched across the 600 Road, and a flagger will be placed along the road to prohibit access when cables are in use. The Uproute and/or Extendo Trails can be used as a detour during this time.

The Flat Tire harvest will result in the additional intermittent closure of the Extendo Trail, due to the close proximity of trees being felled adjacent to the trail. The trail will be closed for a brief period of 3-6 days in May or June, only when a flagger is present. The Uproute Trail and/or 600 Road can be used as a detour during this time.

The timing of the two harvests are expected to overlap, and there may be times when both the Extendo Trail and 600 Road are closed by flaggers at the same time. The Uproute Trail will remain open for use during both harvests.

The Flat Tire harvest is a last minute addition in response to an invasion of flat-headed fir borers in the Douglas-fir trees growing along the northern part of Extendo Trail. These trees were likely stressed from growing on the dry ridgetop, making them more susceptible to damage from the fir borers. Many trees in this area are dead or dying as a result, and will be removed.

View a map of the harvest area here (link)

For a reminder of why clearcuts are used as one management tool on the OSU Research Forests, check out this newsletter article, pages 14-16

Middle Extendo and Flat Tire Harvest Information

Approximate Closure Duration:  4/4-6/30/2018 (Middle Extendo); 5/1-6/30/2018 (Flat Tire)
Closed Roads: 681 (24/7 closure), portion of 600 (*only when flagger present)
Closed Trails: Short trail btwn Extendo and 681 Rd (24/7 closure), Extendo Tr. (*only when flagger present, for approximately 3-6 days in May/June)
Haul Routes: 681, 680, 600
Detours:  6020 Rd, Uproute Trail, and Extendo Trail (when open)
Size: 31 acres (Middle Extendo); 10 acres (Flat Tire) Prescription:  Clearcut
Harvest Method:  Cable logging (Middle Extendo), ground-based (Flat Tire)
Demonstration Applications: Cable logging and clearcut techniques for high recreation and visually sensitive areas.
Reasons for Harvest: 

  • Middle Extendo: Revenue generation to support Research Forests operations and student learning in the College of Forestry.  
  • Flat Tire: Remove dead and dying trees infected with flat-headed fir borer, reducing tree mortality and safety hazards along Extendo trail.  

Posted 4/2/2018  Parking and Use Temporarily Prohibited on Dunn 300 and 400 Roads 

Road work is occurring on the Dunn 400, 420, 360, and 300 Road system during the coming week or longer.  Parking is prohibited at the 400 Gate while the approach is being widened to allow passage of long trailers carrying large pieces of equipment.  Please do not use the 300 and 400 Gates or associated road systems at this time.  

Updated 3/19/2018  Road Work Continuing on 800 Road and North of Oak Creek

Rock trucks and an excavator will be working on the 800 Road, using the 800 Gate (north of Lewisburg Saddle) starting on 3/19.  Work has been completed on the 600 Road (near Oak Creek).  However, expect to see a road grader and compactive roller working north of the Oak Creek area along the 681 Road, the 680 Road from 681 to 680/700 triangle junction, and the 700 Road from triangle junction to 7060 road (quarry). 

Please yield to equipment and trucks for everyone's safety.  Drivers and operators are trained to expect recreation use when on the McDonald Forest.  However, trucks may be loaded with rocks or hauling heavy equipment while traveling downhill, increasing stopping distances on a route with limited sight distances.

Posted 1/30/2018  Alternative Trailhead Transportation Strategy

We are pleased to share with you the results of a community effort to develop a strategy to address issues related to vehicular use on access roads and at trailheads.  This strategy was developed to address current issues including safety, congestion, and access while also developing tools to make it easier for visitors to access the forest without their car.  

Alternative Trailhead Transportation Strategy

Posted 1/30/2018 Upcoming Changes to Oak Creek Trailhead Parking

Starting in March 2018, bollards will be placed on NW Oak Creek Dr. to physically prohibit unsafe parking that often occurs there during busy times.  This parking restriction will assure the road is kept open for access by recreation, administrative, and emergency traffic, and reduce the potential for accidents. These parking restrictions are a Condition of Approval from the 2017 Conditional Use Permit the OSU Research Forests received from Benton County Planning Commission to allow further development of Forest trails.  

The restrictions will not reduce parking in the main parking area at Oak Creek.  On very busy days, cars sometimes stretch south of the county maintenance sign (south of the buildings) along NW Oak Creek Drive, and some vehicles park with one wheel almost in the ditch and the other out into the lane of traffic.  The bollards will be placed along this section of road to keep the lane of traffic open during very busy times, but the main parking area will remain open for use.  

During busy times, parking spaces will be in high demand at Oak Creek, and it is expected that there will not be space for everyone to park.  We plan to have a webcam available in April for visitors to use in planning their trip.  In the meantime, if parking is full at the trailhead, please find another location for your adventure.  FYI, parking is not permitted along NW Oak Creek Drive, or on neighboring properties, including the Audubon Center. Check out the new bike racks installed at Oak Creek Trailhead for your use!  

The Oak Creek parking area will be closed for a brief time this summer, as contractors re-surface the parking area, paint lines to indicate parking spaces, and install a turn-around.  During re-paving and painting this summer, parking areas will be clarified for safety, including the currently unmarked parking between the buildings.  This project is not expected to increase parking capacity at the site.  These improvements will result in a safer, more user-friendly parking experience.  

Posted 11/22/2017  Road Work in Oak Creek Area (600 and 700 Road Systems) Starting Monday, 11/27/2017

Starting on Monday 11/27/2017, and lasting throughout the week, a crew will be grading the roads used as part of the Quick Draw harvest in the Oak Creek area.  A grader and rock truck will work together to add rock and smooth Roads 600 (between Oak Creek parking area to 6021), 680, 682, 700, and 710.  After completion of the Oak Creek area, the grader will move to part of the 500 Road system and the Dunn 400 Road system, later in the week or the following week.  Please be prepared to yield right-of-way to the large machinery and to experience some wait times on your visits to this area.  

Posted 10/31/2017  Seasonal Trail Closures in Effect Starting 11/1/2017-4/14/2018

As the rains start back up, please be aware that the use of trails is not allowed when travel will result in leaving a track in the mud, or when there is significant standing water on the trail.  This is especially important for natural surface trails such as Daves's Trail, Vineyard Mountain Trail, and Beautiul Trail.  If trail damage occurs during winter months, seasonal restrictions may be considered.    

Starting Wednesday 11/1/2017, and running through 4/14/2018, the following trails will be open to foot traffic only: Calloway Creek Trail, Extendo Trail, and Intensive Management Trail.  

Please help us protect our trails - and honor the efforts of our volunteers - by using trails responsibly in wet weather!  

Posted 10/23/2017  Harvest Operations Mostly Complete - Road Work Remains
Harvest operations have concluded on the McDonald Forest, and visitors are free to use the area!  Please be aware that closures remain in place at the Student Logging Training Program site on the Dunn Forest, and that other forest management operations such as herbicide application and pile burning are currently underway or planned for the near future.  Also, please be aware that road work remains to be completed at each of the recent harvest areas.  

Thank you for your continued patience, and enjoy the fall weather!

Updated 9/6/2017  OSU Research Forests Conditional Use Permit Application Granted by Benton County Planning Comission

The OSU Research Forests applied for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) with the Benton County Planning Commission in July-September, 2017.  Most of McDonald Forest and the portion of Dunn Forest that is within Benton County are zoned for Forest Conservation. While some activities are automatically allowed in the Forest Conservation Zone (timber harvest, forest road construction, herbicide use, etc.), recreation uses and facilities require Conditional Use Permit review and approval by the Benton County Planning Commission.  The application was approved with revised "Conditions for Approval" at a Benton County Planning Commission deliberation session on 9/5/2017.  For more information, see our Recreation Planning webpage.

Special Newsletter Edition: Conditional Use Permit

Posted 8/17/2017  Bells for Bikes Pilot Test at Oak Creek

In an effort to make our trails safer and more enjoyable for every type of user, the OSU Research Forests, in partnership with Peak Sports, are ringing in something new. Bells will be available at the Oak Creek trailhead for mountain bikers to borrow for their trail ride. These bells will easily attach to the riders’ handlebars or saddle and will provide an easy way to alert other forest users that a bike is approaching. Visitors will simply take a bell out of the bell box at the beginning of their ride and return it when they’re done. If you would like your own personal bell, they are available for purchase at Peak Sports. 

This pilot test, running from August 17, 2017 – October 31, 2017, is hopefully just the beginning of improving enjoyment for every type of trail user that comes to our forest. If you use or encounter these bells on the trails, go ahead and fill out this survey in order to provide us with feedback and make improvements before we fully implement this program at other trailheads in the Research Forests. 

Road Work

Intermittent road maintenence activities occur on the OSU Research Forests.  Please yield to the trucks.  Use extreme caution when approaching operating equipment and only pass when given the OK.

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Volunteer or sign your group up to host a project:

(541) 737-6730 

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Contact us with questions, or call the OSU Rearch Forests Business office at (541) 737-4452

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