Lately, one of my aims has been to explore the Brice Creek area and — especially — to get off the beaten trails. Of course Brice Creek Trail is always beautiful and Trestle Creek Trail is popular for good reason, but when I look at a map I see there are many more trails around Brice Creek. Where do they all go? I’ve often wondered.
Crawfish Lake Trail is accessed from a spur off Brice Creek Road between Cedar Creek Campground and Lund Park. Once we left Brice Creek, the road made a steep climb into the mountains, and just when I thought we couldn’t get any higher, we’d turn a corner and start to climb again. Luckily it was our pickup doing the work this time, not our legs (which is how we got into this area earlier this year on the Crawfish Trail).
Crawfish Lake is a small lake, about 3 acres total, and high in the mountains at about 4,000 feet. The short trail to the lake and around the lake is wide, easily accessible, and probably only 1/2 to 1 mile long.
Crawfish Lake is a peaceful retreat, but to be honest, as a hiking destination it isn’t that exciting. However, if you are already in the area (say camping at Lund Park) then this would make a great get away for a couple hours. Also, if you’re like us and occasionally like to get out and just drive in the woods, Crawfish Lake would be a great place to stop and stretch your legs, or maybe have a nice picnic lunch. We enjoyed ours at a picnic table sitting next to a 3-sided shelter. Or may, it would be a great place for fishing or off-road camping.
How to get there: We used these directions from the Forest Service for Crawfish Lake Trail #1409 and they were spot on (of course). There are signs along the way to guide you.
From Cottage Grove, travel east on Row River Road for 19 miles to the junction of Layng Creek Road 17, and Brice Creek Road 2470. Bear right on Brice Creek Road 2470 and continue for 6.2 miles to Cat Creek Road 2263. [This is between Cedar Creek Campground and Lund Park.]
Turn right and continue on Cat Creek Road 2263 for 1.7 miles to Dog Creek Road 717.
Bear right on Dog Creek Road 717 and travel 3.1 miles to Forest Road 2263-834.
Bear right on Forest Road 2263-834. While on Forest Road 2263-834, stay to your left and travel 1.25 miles to the end of the road. The trailhead is on the right.
The trailhead is approximately 35 miles southeast of Cottage Grove.