CUMMINS CREEK TRAIL
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Cummins Creek Trail is about a four-mile hike. It connects with the Cook's Ridge and Gwynn Creek junction extending the total hike to about eight miles. With an elevation change of about 1600 feet Cummins Creek Trail descends or ascends, depending on where you start, from a trailhead adjoining a parking area located at the terminus of a dead-end dirt road that intersects Highway 101 about one mile south of the Perpetua Visitor's Center.
Our group's opinion is that the best way to hike Cummins is to park at the end of the dirt road, hike up Cummins Creek, down Gwynn Creek, and then continue south for about one quarter of a mile on the Oregon Coast Trail back to our car. The advantage to this is that the beginning of the trail is steep and rocky and ascending is kinder to the knees, easier to maneuver and less tiring when starting out than descending.
Cummins Creek flows in a ravine south of the dirt road away from the trailhead and cannot be seen or heard once one enters the trail.
After passing the trailhead sign the hiker is immediately in a lush, thick forest of ferns, various berry bushes, Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock and many others.
Robert's Geranium, Broadleaf Starflower, Red Columbine, Mountain Monkey Flower, Coast Boykinia and Siberian Lettuce dot the sides of the trail.
Siberian Miner's Lettuce
After about two miles of forest the trees and ferns disappear and the trail leads into an entirely different eco-system where Chaparral grows on a prairie or meadow overlooking a mountain edge. Rock formations appear on one side and broad views of mountains topped with trees appear on the other. Weak jokes about cougars crouched above on rocky ledges are made and hikers are suddenly reminded that whenever they enter a forest there is a risk of meeting a wild animal.
Soon the trail switches back and once again passes through a forested area and after about three-quarters of a mile the Cook's Ridge, Gwynn Creek, Cummins Creek junction is in sight.
When the end of Gwynn Creek Trail is reached the Oregon Coast Trail heads sought for about one quarter of a mile to the road where our car is parked.
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