New trail coming to Lemolo Lake, Oregon

Soon, outdoor enthusiasts will be hiking and mountain biking down a new trail through the shade-covered Umpqua National Forest, catching glimpses of Lemolo Lake between the evergreens.

A trails enterprise team through the U.S. Forest Service started constructing 4.5 miles of new trail in the Diamond Lake Ranger District on July 19, 2017, connecting the freshly cleared dirt path with existing trails and the North Umpqua Trail to make a 10-mile loop around Lemolo Lake. The most recently built trail, on the east side of the lake, was completed in 1992.

The soil derives from pumice, a light, porous volcanic rock that in its dust form has the consistency of fluffy flour. One of the crew members likened it to cake mix that needs eggs and water to make it stick together in a batter ready for baking. The powdery pumice needs some light rain to compact it down into an easily passable trail.

The Forest Service is planning to let the trail undergo a winter of rain and snow to compact it down before officially opening it up with a ribbon cutting in 2018. In the meantime, signage, kiosks, benches, parking areas, wooden bridge crossings and other trail improvements will be put in place along the Lemolo Lake Trail.

The project also includes improving portions of the existing trail and designating 0.7 miles of a forest road and 2.5 miles of the new trail as a Nordic winter trail, connecting it to the existing winter and Nordic-use trail.

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