The National Forest Foundation and partners recently completed the final project of the NFF’s Treasured Landscapes: Unforgettable Experiences campaign site on the Deschutes National Forest. The Whychus Overlook is now open to the public and offers a wonderful site to view the amazing scenery that the Sisters Ranger District has to offer.

The viewing area and path leading to it are ADA accessible. The Whychus Overlook is one of the most visited locations in the Whychus Creek Wild and Scenic River area, and now the site can be safely enjoyed without adversely impacting the watershed, which this campaign has worked to help restore.

Early construction for the overlook.

Working collaboratively with the Forest Service and local partners, the NFF developed specific goals for the restoration of both the Whychus and Metolius watersheds and the surrounding forests and then worked with a diverse group of partners and supporters to accomplish these mutually-developed goals.

We improved recreational trails to accommodate the increasing number of annual visitors. To restore a healthy portion of Whychus Creek’s historic flows, we worked with agricultural interests while also maintaining a vibrant agricultural industry in the region. Both watersheds are now benefitting from reduced erosion, increased native riparian vegetation and enhanced fish spawning habitat through the elimination of user-created trails and riparian planting efforts. We also thinned the surrounding forests, reducing the threat of severe wildfire and enhancing native habitat for birds and other wildlife.

In bringing the Whychus Creek and Metolius River ecosystems to a healthy state, the NFF has benefitted central Oregon’s wildlife, local communities, and the thousands of people who visit each year in search of nature’s inspiration.

The new Whychus Overlook is accessible from Forest Road 16 on the Sisters Ranger District, via Three Creeks Lake Road. A ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the completion of the overlook and accessible trail will be held in the spring of 2016.

National Forest Foundation