By the early seventies, there were less than a thousand Columbia White-Tailed Deer in existence, and these were in two isolated pockets. One, near the Columbia River, and the second here in Douglas County at the North Bank Habitat Management Area, a seven-thousand acre former ranch located northeast of Roseburg. Rising about fifteen hundred feet above the azure waters of the Umpqua river, the gentle ridges of the ranch culminate at the summit of Round Timber Mountain, giving expansive view in all directions and providing the perfect place to get that all-important elevation-gain conditioning. Old ranch roads branch out from two trailheads, providing numerous opportunities for hiking, from short excursions to all-day epics. Opportunities for wildlife viewing are guaranteed.
The NBHMA is located five miles east of I-5 from near the town of Wilbur, the west entrance just past the five mile marker and the east entrance a further seven miles beyond. From the town of Roseburg, drive I-5 north approximately four miles to Winchester Exit 129, turn left on Highway 99 for two miles, then turn right onto North Bank Road. If coming from Eugene, take Wilbur Exit 135, cross over the freeway, then turn right on 99 for four miles until you get to North Bank Road, then turn left. After the five mile marker you will go around a sharp bend in the road, and immediately after you can park near the first locked green gate (taking care not to block the gate) or in the next, much larger parking area (although there is often many horse trailers parked here). Generally it is better to park at the second, larger parking area, all trail info is listed here, along with maps of the area.
No passes or permits are required. However, you will often be sharing the trail with equestrians and in season, hunters.
Flora and Fauna
The ranch is home to many species of wildlife, with White-Tails being the most common. There are also many species of Hawks (I have seen Red-Tailed Hawks and Kites), songbirds (alot of Western Bluebirds), Predators (Cougar, Black-Bears, Fox, Bobcat and Coyote), not to mention Black-Tailed Deer. Whiet-Oak seems to be the predominate tree variety here, though there are some tremendous examples of Madrone here and a various stands of evergreens as well.
I was wrong about this before, you CAN camp here. I will add more information about this as I get it.
Being that this is a lower-elevation area, it is generally accessible year-round. For local weather condtions, click HERE
Chiggers, the larval stage of Harvest Mites (Wikipedia link HERE) are a problem in this park. Be sure to wear long pants and shower after a day here.
"After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, which is the most horrible thing in the world."
--Oscar Wilde on Absinthe