McDonald State Forest is mostly second-growth Douglas-fir, with variation from logging sites and thinning research projects. The forks of Oak Creek have dense riparian growth with big-leaf maple. The Homestead Loop is good for Steller’s Jay, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Winter Wren, thrushes, and kinglets. Ranging further you may find Pileated Woodpecker and Red-breasted Sapsucker. During migration, look for Hammond’s and Pacific-slope Flycatchers, and all 11 of western Oregon’s warblers, including Hermit and MacGillivray’s as forest specialties. Gray Jay are often seen on the slopes of McCulloch Peak, and sometimes Sooty and Ruffed Grouse too. On your way back down Oak Creek Dr, stop by Audubon Society of Corvallis Hesthavn Nature Center, where bird feeders and native plant restorations attract riparian bird species.
From downtown Corvallis, go W on Harrison Blvd past OSU dairy on edge of town, to the stoplight at 53rd St. Continue straight ahead on Oak Creek Dr for 3 mi, bearing R at 1.9 mi to stay on Oak Creek Dr all the way to the forest access.