North Bank Ranch

  • Moderate (from Comstock Day Use Area)
  • 4.9-mile loop
  • 1080 feet elevation gain
  • Open all year, but gated Tuesday-Thursday
  • Use: hikers, horses, bicycles

  • Moderate (from West Access)
  • 6.1-mile loop
  • 1200 feet elevation gain
  • Open all year

Columbia white-tailed deer once roamed most of Western Oregon. But as pioneers began farming the deer’s favored valley habitat the whitetails gradually lost ground to their larger, black-tailed cousins from the uplands. By 1970 fewer than 700 of the endangered breed survived. Today Columbia white-tailed deer have staged a comeback, thanks in part to the North Bank Habitat, a 10-square-mile preserve overlooking the North Umpqua River near Roseburg.

Open all year and just 6 miles from Interstate 5, this quiet hideaway of rolling oak savannahs and forested valleys was once a vast cattle ranch. Now its ancient roads have grown into pleasant, grassy tracks with views that sweep from Whistlers Bend on the North Umpqua River to the Umpqua Community College campus at Winchester. Look for the rare deer, with gray eye rings and flashy white tails. Hawks, eagles, foxes, and blacktail deer are common.

If you’re coming from Roseburg, take Interstate …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon.