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    Casey Conemac / The Mainstream

Local outdoor adventures

in Campus Life by

During the summer, there is plenty to do outside in Douglas County. For outdoors fun, hike the hundreds of miles of hiking trails, explore the many waterfalls located near Highway 138 or unwind at one of several lakes scattered throughout the county.

Near Twin Lakes along Highway 138 near mile mark 50 is one of the 12 locations people can park and hike the North Umpqua Trail that begins at Swiftwater Park and ends at Maidu Lake.

Maidu Lake is the source of the North Umpqua River. It lies just east of Mt. Thielsen and can be reached a couple different ways. For a really long adventure that attracts thousands of tourists and was featured in a  movie, The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is a mile away from Maidu Lake.

If a shorter hike is more suitable, there are several short hikes into numerous waterfalls located along the North Umpqua River. The closest waterfall to Roseburg is the Susan Creek Falls which is a three-fourths of a mile hike from Highway 138. Further up, but off the highway, is Steamboat Falls. The hike in to Steamboat Falls is only 100 feet.

Between Steamboat and Diamond Lake, there are another six waterfalls. Toketee Falls, Watson Falls, Whitehorse Falls and Clearwater Falls are easily accessible from Highway 138. All require short hikes of less than a mile. Further from the highway are Lemolo Falls and Warm Springs Falls. Some of the lesser visited waterfalls are located up Little River.

Two of those waterfalls are near Hemlock Lake and Lake in the Woods. Yasko Falls can be reached from a trailhead located across from the Lake in the Woods campground. It is a .07-mile hike to a waterfall that drops 60 feet.

Hemlock Falls can be reached from Lake in the Woods. There is day-use parking for those who want to hike into the falls or spend the day at the lake. The lake itself has some history.  It was once a pasture for horses used for pack trains that became a small lake when a creek was diverted into the pasture. This was to provide water for humans and horses working in the area.

Lake in the Woods usually attracts full-capacity on the weekends. Other than the falls, the place is rather drab. The lake is small and people can’t use boats with motors. Many pass up Lake in the Woods for a larger lake 10 minutes up the road known as Hemlock Lake.

Hemlock Lake is a 28-acre lake that is actually a man-made reservoir. The lake is stocked with trout and can be fished from shore or from a boat. Like Lake in the Woods, boat motors are not allowed.

Hemlock Lake has several camp sites around the lake. There are as many as four or five sites by the boat ramp. A short hike from the boat ramp leads to another two sites. Most people camp on the west side of the lake, however many people get lost looking for this campground as it isn’t clearly marked off the main road.

Hemlock Lake boasts several miles of trails that can be trekked by foot, horse or two-wheel motorcycles. There is no running water at either of the lakes, nor any source of firewood. In fact, the many downed trees are protected from cutting for animals to inhabit.

If roughing it in primitive campgrounds seems unattractive, there are lakes and campgrounds that offer more amenities. Lemolo Lake, located off Highway 138 just before Diamond Lake, is a popular place.

Your trip to Lemolo Lake can begin at home. On the Lemolo Lake Resort website, one can reserve space in a cabin, RV site or tent site at one of the several spots around the lake. Some resources are limited here. The restaurant, due to a fire, won’t reopen until 2018. However, there is a convenient store where people can buy some goods and firewood. Also, at the convenience store, people can rent boats, everything from a paddle boat to a party barge.

One last spot that attracts thousands of people year-round is Diamond Lake. Mere minutes from Lemolo Lake, Diamond Lake has a lot of similarities, yet offers more amenities. There is a lodge, multiple cabins and numerous camping spots. People can rent everything from aluminum boats to bumper boats. The lodge also rents out mountain bikes. In the winter people can rent skis, tubes and snowmobiles.

The store has more items for purchase and the lodge has a restaurant and hotel that overlooks the largest lake in the area. Because Diamond Lake is so popular in the summer and winter, guests can have a hard time booking a stay anywhere at the lake if they wait too long for reservations.