Imagine a road, its paved gray surface winding on for miles. On either side of you there is nothing but trees. Then, as you crest a small hill, the sight that greets you is both humbling and awe inspiring… an ocean of forest for as far as the eye can see. The very road carrying you through this lush landscape of mixed confers, a mere footpath leading you off into the unknown.
How did I find this remote and enchanting place? Well, let me tell you, it was all because of a visit to the Butte Falls Library. That’s right, next up in our Discover the Treasures of JCLS series... the smallest town in Jackson County, beautiful Butte Falls! This tiny forested hamlet is situated along the Rogue River and sits at about 2,500 feet in elevation. The town hosts a small but proud population of around 450 people, and it offers two places to dine, a newly re-opened historic tavern, a small convenience store, lovely park, ball fields, and of course a library!
The Butte Falls library is a charming little building that has an interesting history of its own. Formerly a fast-food restaurant in Medford, it was towed up to Butte Falls and turned into the cute pocket-sized library of today.
Small, of course, doesn’t mean less quality; the Butte Falls Library provides all the services and resources of some of the larger branches in the Jackson County Library System. One of the first things you notice when you walk through the door is just how bright and welcoming it is. Four comfy chairs sit adjacent to each other hinting at the possibility of quiet conversations or the ideal spot to read one of the variety of newspapers, magazines, or books that can be found within.
The branch also offers several computer stations and a small children’s area.
There are also bi-monthly programs for both children and adults, with upcoming programs including a special Dragon Egg Storytime. Check out the event calendar for Butte Falls for more information on these and other programs.
While in Butte Falls, I made sure to visit its namesake. The falls themselves can be found on a well-marked gravel road just as you drive into town. If you visit the falls, you will see remnants of the saw mill built by the Butte Falls Sugar Pine Company in 1907. There is also an observation deck and of course, the Falls themselves.
Another notable feature of Butte Falls is that it is the starting point of the Discovery Loop Tour, a half-day driving route featuring scenic views, history, and plant and animal life. Check out this map of the discovery loop trail, but please note that the map is a little outdated. For instance, the fish hatchery is no longer in operation, and at the time of my visit, parts of road 37 were closed. Check with the local ranger station for updated information at (541) 560-3400.
There is no doubt that there is lots to see and discover on a day trip to Butte Falls! So, pack a lunch, a camera, some sturdy shoes, and prepare for a day of local history,
adventure, and fun!