The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Christmas tree ornaments still out there on the trails


July 11, 2018

REAL MCCOY: This is an actual tree ornament that was hidden on a local trail.

If you've been thinking about taking a hike to look for one of the Christmas tree ornaments hidden along trails in the four ranger districts of the Willamette National Forest, or if you've already tried, guess what?

They are still out there.

As of the Fourth of July, according to Sweet Home District Ranger Nikki Swanson, of the 200 original ornaments hidden on Memorial Day, 80 had been found.

The green glass ornaments, about four inches in diameter, are hidden along 15 trails in the Sweet Home district.

Not only are the ornaments usable on family Christmas tree, but finders can win prizes from donors such as Cabela's, fishing guide Jeff Helfrich, the Oregon Jamboree, Casa de Reyes, Pineway golf course, the Eugene Emeralds, Sonia's Salon Essentials, The Point restaurant, the Grand Hotel in Salem and Phoenix Inn and Suites in Albany.

Plus, finders can register for the grand prize: a trip for two to watch the Capitol Tree Lighting event in early December.

Sweet Home's trails have proved the toughest. Of 50 ornaments hidden, nine had been found as of July 4. In the Detroit Ranger District, 33 of 50 ornaments had been located; in the Middle Fork, 22 of 50 had been found; and in the McKenzie River district, 13 of 50 had been reported found.

Finders include hikers from as far away as Fargo, N.D. and Pleasanton, Calif., with the majority by Oregonians – the most, 12 of them, from Eugene.

One finder so far, Milli Stevens, is from Sweet Home. She found hers during Memorial Day weekend on Hackleman Old Growth Trail. All the ornaments on that trail have been located, according to the Sweet Home Ranger District.

Trails on which ornaments are hidden are: Gordon Meadows, Gordon Lakes, Trout Creek, Rooster Rock, Santiam Wagon Road Mountain House and Snow Creek sections, Pyramids, Browder Ridge, South Pyramid Creek, Chimney Peak, Crescent Mountain, Gordan Peak, Scar Mountain, Twin Buttes and Gate Creek.


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