Take a Plant Hike in the Rainforest Reserve

April 28, 2017

When: Friday, June 16, noon to 4 pm
Where: Mystery Peak, above Oswald West State Park, Manzanita
Led by: Kathleen Sayce


The peaks of Oregon’s northern Coast Range host diverse plant communities. Some species found here grow nowhere else; for other species, these mountains represent the southern, northern, or eastern extent of their distribution. They lie within what North Coast Land Conservancy calls the Coastal Edge, an area of special conservation focus and location of NCLC’s proposed Rainforest Reserve. The high balds of the northern Coast Range have long flowering seasons, from early spring to late summer, peaking in June and early July.

Join plant ecologist Kathleen Sayce for a hike on Mystery Peak to see what’s in bloom in mid-June. Mystery Peak is a narrow ridge of basalt that emerges from the surrounding forest. It lies on the southwest side of the Onion Peak arc, an area of basalt hoodoos and dramatic outcroppings. If weather permits, we’ll enjoy views of the Onion Peak arc all the way to the Pacific Ocean.


KATHLEEN SAYCE grew up and continues to live on Willapa Bay and has been active in conservation efforts on the South Coast of Washington and North Coast of Oregon all her life. She is a consulting ecologist and educator, and was science program director for the Willapa Alliance and chief science officer for ShoreBank Pacific. She has a master’s degree in botany from Washington State University. She is the president of the Filipendula Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Oregon.


Hike info: We will caravan into the mountains, park, and then walk about 0.5 mile on an informal trail that is very narrow, uneven, and steep in places to the peak. On the drive out, there will be opportunities to stop and walk along the forest road to check rock outcrops, streams, and forest openings for interesting plants and animals.

What to bring: Water and a lunch. Wear sturdy walking shoes and dress for the day’s weather. A walking stick may be useful if you are unsteady on rough ground. Bring a hand lens, camera, binoculars, or anything else that would enhance your appreciation of the geology, plants, and wildlife we find.

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