photo of Douglas Fir tree in Hackelman Forest, Oregon

Weekly Gem #266, Among trees you are at home

Published 1/22/22

Location: This hidden gem is located, along with a million other fascinating places, on Highway 20. This one is in Oregon, between Corvallis and Redmond (see the Clue Me! Map). 

In the Hackleman Old Growth Grove you are surrounded by a sense of magnitude and endurance.

“Old growth” means this forest has four features: large, old living trees; several canopy levels (tall trees, low trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants); standing dead trees; and downed trees. Each of these features provides an important role in the ecosystem of an old growth forest, and maximizes the number of animals that can call the forest ‘home.’

Some of the largest trees (Douglas firs) growing in this forest are more than 500 years old. When they die they may stand for decades. When they fall, they decay oh so slowly, turning into mulch over three to four hundred years. These decaying trees offer food, shelter, moisture, and a perfect home for young trees to take root.

Along the trail you will come to Hackleman Creek. It is home to a unique subspecies of cutthroat trout called Hackleman trout. About 3,500 years ago a lava flow blocked access to the McKenzie River. The fish were isolated and forced to adapt to their new conditions. These trout are only found in Hackleman Creek.

Among trees you are at home.” ~ Friedensreich Hundertwasser


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.” — Charles Darwin


Hackleman Creek and old growth grove

Why It's Interesting

Some of the living trees in this old growth grove are more than 500 years old, and some of the dead ones have been decaying for 3 to 4 hundred years! Also, there is a species of trout unique to Hackleman Creek called Hackleman trout. Hundreds of years ago they were isolated by a lava flow and forced to adapt to Hackleman Creek.

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