Oregon Dept. of Forestry – 12/28/21
Salem, Ore. – About 4,000 acres of the Santiam State Forest will re-open to public access on January 1, 2022 after the 2020 Labor Day fires heavily impacted the forest.
These areas are north of Highway 22, and much of the area burned in the 2020 fires. It includes re-opening the Niagara block and Rocky Top Trail; however, some destinations are at higher altitudes and roads are blocked by snow in the winter months. The Natural Arch trail remains closed.
Maps, closure areas, and anticipated re-opening timelines for popular areas are posted to the Santiam State Forest recovery site at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/recreation/Pages/santiam-state-forest.aspx. Re-openings will also be announced on ODF’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Many of the Santiam’s popular recreation areas, like Shellburg Falls and the High Lakes Recreation Area remain closed due to damage from 2020’s wildfires.
In closed areas, some of the recovery and restoration activities include re-establishing and repairing trails, replacing infrastructure like signs and bridges, removing hazard trees, and post-fire timber harvesting in some areas.
No matter where you go, outdoor activity comes with some level of risk. Here are some safety tips:
- Do not enter closed areas.
- Take extra caution when recreating in burned areas.
- Be careful when driving on single-lane gravel roads in the forest. Active recovery and logging operations are underway. Keep to the right and anticipate oncoming traffic such as trucks, heavy equipment, and other vehicles.
- Many forest roads cross multiple ownerships, and levels of road maintenance can vary accordingly.
- Respect all land closures, public and private.