Tucked off a meandering, rural road eight miles southeast of Cottage Grove is a quiet, wooded, county park, which perhaps many people haven’t been to: Blue Mountain Park.
Blue Mountain Park has been in the news a lot lately. It is a small, undeveloped park just outside Cottage Grove and the county wanted to log there. The news caught my eye for many reasons, most especially because I had never heard of the park. Of course, that meant we had to go out there and explore.
It was a sunny winter day when we loaded up our dogs and went in search of the park. We found it, appropriately enough, across Blue Mountain School Road from Blue Mountain School. Like a lot of little parks, there isn’t a lot to see from the parking lot. But once you get out and start exploring the special qualities of Blue Mountain Park start shining through.
Blue Mountain Park is unique because it lies along Mosby Creek. Mosby Creek is a free flowing, un-dammed waterway and since the fall of 2011 the Coast Fork Watershed Council has been working with various partners and residents along the creek to improve the habitat for spring Chinook. They also document an exciting array of fish species in the creek including trout and lamprey eels.
What I loved about Blue Mountain Park was the solitude and the moss. We had the short trail through the park all to ourselves. And we spent much our time enjoying the moss which dripped from the trees and is slowly reclaiming the wooden picnic tables. At 300 acres in size it isn’t a huge park, but I suspect our little afternoon jaunt has just provided a glimpse of what this park has to offer. We’ll be out later to explore other regions.
Have you been to Blue Mountain Park? What are your favorite parts?
How to get there: Head east on Main Street in Cottage Grove. The road will eventually become Mosby Creek Road. Enjoy the pastoral views for about five miles then turn right onto the twisting Blue Mountain School Road. The park is across from Blue Mountain School at mile post 2. There are no amenities in the park. Please pack out what you bring in.