Middle Fork National Recreation Trail
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The Middle Fork National Recreation Trail is a beautiful hike or horseback ride that follows the Middle Fork of the Applegate River. The trail offers opportunities for swimming in the emerald pools of the river, fishing for Brook trout, or picnicking along the river’s edge. This is also a good hike to view brilliant autumn colors. Although several springs are found along the trail, these water sources have not been tested and may be unsafe to drink.
Beginning on Forest Road 1035, the trail passes through lush fern grottos, unique pothole formations and deep swimming holes. The forest displays a mixed deciduous stand of alder, dogwood and big leaf maple. After 3.4 miles the trail crosses Forest Road 1040 at the Frog Pond Trailhead. The upper section of the trail is within the Red Buttes Wilderness for approximately half a mile. The forest here changes dramatically to mixed stands of old growth Douglas-fir, white fir, incense cedar, and ponderosa pine. Huckleberry, hazelnut, and vine maple form a dense understory. The trail ends on Forest Road 1040-600 at Bean Gulch.
The upper section of this trail is not recommended for horse use due to the narrow tread and rocky creek crossings. The trailhead on Road 1035 provides the best access for a horseback rider with reasonable turnaround room for vehicles with trailers.
Directions: From Ruch: Access #1 (Rd. 1035 Trailhead, elev. 2860'): Travel south on County Road 859 13 miles past the Star Ranger Station to the junction with Carberry Creek Rd. (Just after crossing the Carberry Bridge over Applegate Lake). Turn left and continue 1.5 miles to the junction of Forest Road #1040 and #1050. This junction is a wide spot in a gravel road just south of the California state line. Turn right on to Rd. #1040 and follow for 5 miles to the junction with Rd. #1035. Continue straight ahead on to Rd. #1035 and proceed 0.1 miles to the trailhead sign and large parking area on the left.Access #2 (Frog Pond Trailhead, elev. 3920'): Follow directions as above to junction of Rd. #1040 and #1050. Turn right on Rd. #1040 and follow for 12 miles to the Frog pond Trailhead sign and bulletin board. The Middle Fork NRT may be accessed above or below the small turnout on the road.Access #3 (Bean
Seasonal Access: Normally Accessible: April-October
Facility Type: Trail
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