Oregon's Ancient Forests: A Hiking Guide


Dripping coastal forests of giant Douglas-firs, high desert groves of massive ponderosa pines, and lush mixed conifer forests surrounding jagged Cascade peaks--Oregon’s ancient forests are one of the region’s most precious treasures, providing not only vital habitat for fish and wildlife but also some of the most amazing hiking experiences in the state. Author Chandra LeGue, Oregon Wild’s Western Oregon Field Coordinator, wants you to know and love these incredible places and guides you to them with 91 awe-inspiring hikes that reveal the very soul of Oregon. 

This comprehensive guide explains what makes ancient forests so unique as well as what types exist in Oregon, where they are, who manages them, why so few still survive, and what threats they continue to face. Covering natural history, human history, flora, and fauna, Oregon’s Ancient Forests offers a depth of information that will help you understand these complex ecosystems and their extraordinary value. Devote your next day outdoors to exploring some of these wonders, and get inspired to find out what you can do to protect them!

Features include:

  • Full-color maps and photos
  • Trailhead GPS coordinates and driving directions
  • Trail distance, elevation gain, difficulty rating, and best season to visit
  • Type and protection status of each forest
  • At-a-glance guide for easy hike selection
  • Details on permits and fees
*As a service to readers, hike condition updates and clarifications can be found at this link. Please note that condition updates are not comprehensive but cover important closure notices whenever possible.

Available now!

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Learn more on this webinar offered by Mountaineers Books:

    Praise for the book: 

    “‘Oregon's Ancient Forests: A Hiking Guide’ by Chandra LeGue is a guidebook with a purpose: to inspire readers to learn about and visit Oregon's rapturous old-growth forests, and then love them enough to keep them protected…. Unreservedly recommended.” John Taylor, Midwest Book Review

    "Chandra LeGue has met the towering challenge of selecting Oregon's finest ancient forests, guiding us to them, and convincing us that their protection deserves whatever it takes. This book is an honor to our greatest trees and to the work of beloved naturalist Wendell Wood, whose steps Chandra followed for the definitive guide to old-growth in our state."  -Tim Palmer, author of Trees and Forests of America and Field Guide to Oregon Rivers

    "You will find yourself picking this book up time and again, and planning trips to the far corners of Oregon." -Jared Kennedy, Outdoor Project

      Follow Chandra and Oregon's Ancient Forests

          On ​Facebook @ORancientforests and Instagram @oregon_ancient_forests

          - KXCR "Beyond Your Front Door" radio program interview (Aug. 21, 2021)

          "Way in the Woods" Outdoors Column in Eugene Weekly

          Wild and Scenic Rivers: Hiking along the Rogue (Oct. 24, 2019)

          Winter Coast Range Hiking (Dec. 12, 2019)

          Nature is a Gift (Dec. 26, 2019)

          Embracing Winter (Jan. 16, 2020)

          The Eastern Forests are Calling (Feb. 27, 2020)


          Chandra's Blog

          Blog Post #1: Following the Trail Before Me

          Blog Post #2: Adventure Awaits in our Ancient Forests

          Blog Post #3: Changing Forests, Many Trails

          Blog Post #4: September in our Ancient Forests

          Blog Post #5: Forecast: Winter and Back to Work

          Blog Post #6: A Tale of Two Ancient Forests

          Blog Post #7: Women in the Woods

          Blog Post #8: Hopes and fears for Oregon's Ancient Forests

          Blog Post #9: Ancient Forests: Shaped by Fire

          Exploring Oregon's Proposed Wild & Scenic Rivers 

          Background and history

          In 1991, Oregon Wild (then Oregon Natural Resources Council or ONRC) published a book by one of its longest-serving staff members, Wendell Wood: "A Walking Guide to Oregon's Ancient Forests." Now, over 25 years later and two years after Wendell's untimely death, another Oregon Wild staffer, Chandra LeGue, is working to update and republish this "hiking guide that gives a damn." The new edition, called "Oregon's Ancient Forests: A Hiking Guide" includes nearly a hundred hike descriptions to help forest lovers explore some of Oregon's last remaining ancient forests, while giving readers the context and appreciation they need to be advocates for our forest ecosystems in a political climate that often puts industry profits ahead of public values.