An open meadow and riparian forest harbor a diversity of plant life alongside the cold waters of the spring-fed Metolius River.
Metolius River Preserve An open meadow and riparian forest harbor a diversity of plant life alongside the cold waters of the spring-fed Metolius River. © Alan St. John

Places We Protect

Oregon

Metolius River Preserve

An open meadow and riparian forest harbor a diversity of plant life in Central Oregon.

Why You Should Visit

This cool, moist stretch of meadow and forest along the Metolius River supports a low-elevation fen, dry meadows and mixed conifer river bottom old-growth forest.

Location

Near Camp Sherman, north of Sisters in Central Oregon

Size

30 acres

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

The condition and status of rare species on the preserve are monitored by ecologists. Teams of volunteers assist periodically throughout the year with trail maintenance and removal of invasive, non-native species.

What to See: Plants

Conifer species found on the preserve include ponderosa pine, grand fir, Douglas-fir, western white pine and Englemann spruce. The meadow hosts a large population of the rare Peck's penstemon and other wildflowers endemic to Central Oregon. The preserve also includes two river islands.

What to See: Animals

Along the river, bobcat, flying squirrel, northern watershrew, and bat species little brown myotis and long-eared myotis make their home.

The best time to visit is June through September, with peak flowering in mid-June. Please note that the trail passes through other private lands as well as through the preserve.

Please observe the following guidelines while hiking:

  • Stay on the trail. Don't collect plants, insects or other species or disturb soil, rocks, artifacts or scientific research markers.
  • No dogs. Preserves harbor ground-nesting birds and other wildlife that are extremely sensitive to disturbance.
  • No bicycles or motorized vehicles. Native plants and research sites are easily trampled.
  • No hunting, camping or campfires.
  • For groups of 10 or more, please contact us before visiting a preserve (a volunteer naturalist guide may be available).
  • Please bring a bag and carry out any trash you find.
  • Please report to us any problems you observe (e.g., camping, plant removal, hunting, off-road vehicle damage, etc).