Aufderheide Forest Drive (Forest Road 19)

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Aufderheide Drive (USFS Road 19) goes between Highway 58 (Westfir) at the south to Highway 126 (Cougar Reservoir) at the north and is paved its entire length.  It’s 63 miles long and at the highest point (Box Canyon) is about 3500′.  There are numerous campgrounds, trailheads, and gravel roads along the way, but no services, so take whatever you’ll need with you.  The higher portion of the drive can be under snow until late spring and some times into June, depending on the weather.

Go to the Oregon Birding Trails website. Choose the Willamette Valley Birding Trail. Click on the “trail guide” and choose the McKenzie Guide. Section M-9.


Habitat and Birds

The Aufderheide Drive is mostly though conifer forests, from clearcuts to old-growth.  At the south end of the drive you parallel the North Fork of the Willamette River and at the north end you parallel the South Fork of the McKenzie River and Cougar Reservoir.  There have been recent forest fires (Terwilliger Fire 2018 & Holiday Farms Fire 2020) at the north end of the drive that you will be driving through. All of the typical western lower elevation forest species of birds can be found on this route – including grouse (Ruffed & Sooty), Mountain Quail, jays (Canada & Steller’s), thrushes (Swainson’s, Hermit, Am. Robin, & Varied), and warblers (Orange-crowned, Nashville, MacGillivray’s, Black-throated Gray, Hermit & Wilson’s).