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Date:  September 26, 2007

Location  Fish Lake Hike

Where:  Willamette National Forest


 Our first nights boondock was so nice and quiet we decided to stay a second day and explore the Fish Lake area some more, visiting the Remount Depot and hiking a section of the Santiam Wagon Road. From our campsite we walked over to what was formally the Fish Lake Campground, which is now being transformed into the Fish Lake Interpretive Site. A large gate now marks the portage from the Interpretive Site parking lot to the Fish Lake Remount Depot.

Jeanette at the porgate gate

For many years Fish Lake served as an important way stop on what came to be commonly called the Santiam Wagon Road; first as a toll station, later as summer headquarters for the Santiam National Forest, and finally as a Remount Station for transporting supplies to forest fire lookouts by mule.

Jeanettte at the summer headquarters building

Fish Lake itself dries up in the summer time leaving a lush field of grass that I am sure served as an important source of fuel for the horses pulling the wagons in the early days and later for the mules that packed the supplies to the lookouts.

Jim on the old road bed through Fish Lake

In the late 1940s when our family would travel in the summer to Clear Lake, I can remember my Dad taking a route down through Fish Lake. The concept of driving through a lake held such a sense of wonder to me as I peered out the window at the narrow road winding through the tall grass.

Fish Lake Interpretive Site
Fish Lake Remount Depot
Fish Lake