Summary: This little known hike follows a forest service road up the once settled Enchanted Valley. The settlers abandoned it and it is now rangeland abundant with deer, elk and other wildlife. The road crosses bailey creek .75 of a mile down the road. Stop and sit by the creek, maybe toss in a few rocks, maybe not. It has the magical ability to stop time for however long you sit by the bank. Five minutes or Five hours will seem the same. Continue along the road 1 mile to where bailey creek forks. Leave the road for a minute and explore the creek. The sandy bottom is loaded with Iron Pyrite, giving it the look of gold. Back on the road, follow it uphill to an old pioneer apple grove. Numerous side valleys beg for exploration, but I leave that up to you.
Trailhead: From Florence, drive north on 101 3.5 miles to Mercer lake road. Turn left onto Mercer lake road and follow it 3.7 miles as it winds its way around Mercer Lake. After 3.7 miles, the road ends at a gravel cul-de-sac, where the "trail" begins on a gated dirt road (Lat:44.05876 Lon:-124.05329)
Trail Guides for Enchanted Valley:
Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Siuslaw National Forest, Mapleton Ranger District. (541) 902-6940
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joshua Wilson, who has posted 18 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Submit your own review
Reviewed by Diana on 10/18/2011
My family purchased the ranch in the early 1970's and later sold most of-there is a lot of wildlife-including cougar, bear and elk which can all be dangerous. I spent much time as a child roaming the valley and fishing in Bailey Creek-not realizing the danger of approaching bull elk in rut (mating season)(we kids got into a lot of trouble)...It is a beautiful, secluded ranch-out of the wind. Gorgeous on a summer or fall day. Ken Kesey lived on the ranch down near the lake in 1961 in a small house (which was later removed) when he wrote the book "Sometimes a Great Notion". We are contemplating having a monument made for the spot to commemmorate him.
Reviewed by wfl on 8/14/2011
Review from Cookie-Dogâ€™s perspective: After a curvy drive to the trail head with mom and grandma didnâ€™t like much we arrived at the paved trail head. After The first mile they both proclaimed that they were NOT Enchanted at all with the trail. The first mile was like walking through a farmerâ€™s fields, with ruts from a tractor as a trail and it hadnâ€™t been mowed in awhile because their pants were wet from the knees down. I thought it was fun to run around in and wade into the deep ruts that had bridges built around them and I could hop like a bunny through the tall grass. Unfortunately the trails in the tree sections werenâ€™t much better and after NOT seeing any wildlife, which I would have surely chased, we turned around.
Reviewed by Fred L. Jensen on 5/14/2011
Great scenry - Easy hike - to the bridge & back,2hrs.
Reviewed by Erin on 5/6/2008
These directions are wrong. It's actually a RIGHT (not left) on Mercer Lake Rd if you are going north on 101. You follow it for about 4.1 (not 3.7) miles, and keep left when it splits. The cul-de-sac is not gravel, but paved. If you can find it, this is a very pleasant hike! It is easy and level, and you will get some great exercise and sunshine if you do it on a nice day. At 6 months pregnant and carting along a 2-year-old, we were still able to do most of the hike. We saw a tree frog, snake, lots of bear scat and elk prints. We would definitely hike it again!
Reviewed by Jack on 5/28/2007
It is one of the best places in florence to visit! There are many different plamts and animals there. I saw once A bear and her cub running across the trail and anther time i saw a heard of elk. There was at least 50!
Reviewed by Ivan on 2/11/2006
Beautiful place. Perfect for getting out the binoculars to do some wildlife watching. Many, many signs of elk. The valley is wide open. I saw a coyote and 3 elk. It is possible to hike north up Bailey Creek, though no trail. I just waded in the creek about 1.5 miles then cut east to the closest forest service road and looped back to valley.
Reviewed by Ryan on 1/16/2006
Took this trail yesterday, was a bit rainy and streams had recently flooded so the ground was extremely soggy in spots (nothing new hiking in the NW). Very nice hike, easy, peaceful and only a few other people all day. Saw plenty of signs of wildlife but with a two year old and three dogs in tow, we saw no actual animals. Very serene hike, the road/trail is nice and wide making it a joy to take the dogs on. A little difficulty finding it. As you follow Mercer Lake road around it finally forks, one road goes up to the right (Mercer View?) the other goes down and to the left (didn't catch the name) Take the one that goes down and to the left. Have fun!!
Reviewed by Paul on 8/7/2005
The best thing about this hike is the lack of people and prestine silence. There are many signs of large wildlife all around you(scat,trampled bedding etc.). A oncoming group told us of a baby bear sighting,but we had no such luck.The direction need to be changed to turning right on Mercer Lake RD,not left from Florence.
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