Showcasing Great Hikes of the Ochoco National Forest and Crooked River National Grassland
“Find the Field Ranger” hike series will continue into September
PRINEVILLE, Ore.— A new opportunity to meet and interact with Field Rangers on the Ochoco National Forest and the Crooked River National Grassland will focus on outstanding hiking trails in the area. The “Find the Field Ranger” hike series began with Saturday hikes on the Steins Pillar, Round Mountain, and Mother Lode Mine trails in August, and will continue with hikes on the Alder Springs and Twin Pillar trails in September.
While the hikes are not guided, they are an invitation for visitors to explore scenic trails and enjoy public lands. Forest Service Field Rangers will be out along the trails doing light trail work while connecting with hikers and other trail users, offering information, background on the history and ecology of the area, and answering questions about forest and recreation management. Kids can learn about Smokey the Bear’s message of fire prevention and take home a Smokey promotional item.
The next hikes are at the Alder Springs Trailhead on September 8 and Twin Pillars South Trailhead on September 15. Field Rangers will be on the trails from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm each day. Directions to the trailheads can be found at https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/ochoco/recreation.
The Field Ranger program was launched in the spring of 2016 to better connect forest users and the community to Forest Service staff in the field, expanding the reach of uniformed staff beyond offices in Madras and Prineville. “We are the link between the office and the public out enjoying the forest,” said Kelsey Aasness, a Field Ranger in her second season with the program. “Rather than try to guess where visitors would be, we decided to let people know where they could connect with us, and show people some of our best trails. You always meet interesting people out there,” Aasness said of the hikes.